Five members of a Navi Mumbai family including a three-year-old boy were killed in a road crash in Satara after their bus plunged off a bridge and fell 50 feet early Saturday morning, police said.
The extended family of 11 was headed to Goa for a vacation.
The Nair family travelling in a Tempo Traveller bus had left from Vashi for Goa on Friday around 9 pm.
The crash took place on the Tarali river bridge on the outskirts of Umbraj village in Karad, Satara between 4.30 am and 5 am, according to the police.
“The driver of the vehicle dozed off and ended up crashing off the bridge. The vehicle fell 50 feet from the bridge by the river side,” said AL Gorad, assistant inspector at Umbraj police station.
One of the injured occupants called the emergency police helpline number following which a rescue operation was mounted.
Five persons including Madhusudhan Nair, 42, his wife Usha, 40, their 23-year-old son Aditya were killed along with Sajan Nair, 35, and his three-year-old son Aarav.
The local traffic police officials said the spot where the crash took place is not a blackspot – a location where crashes are more likely to occur. The two-lane bridge is separated by a gap. Incidentally, a spot a few metres after the bridge ends is prone to crashes, police said.
“Such a crash has not taken place on the bridge. Nevertheless, crash barriers have been installed on the side of the roads to prevent crashes. It appears the vehicle was at such a high speed that it crashed through the barriers while diving off the bridge,” said Asmita Patil, in-charge at Karad traffic police.
The driver and six other members of the Nair family were injured in the crash. All of them are said to be recuperating and out of danger.
The injured were rushed to Satara civil hospital and the bodies of the five victims were sent to Karad civil hospital for autopsy.
“We contacted their relatives in Mumbai to inform them about the crash. The relatives are on their way,” said an officer from Satara police.
The police have registered a case of rash driving and causing death due to negligence against the 30-year-old driver Rinku Gupta. Police said he was sober at the time of the crash but may have been fatigued.
After the injured were rescued, the police deployed cranes to pull the vehicle out.
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