KHANDALA, MAHARASHTRA: At least 18 labourers, including several woman, died after the tempo they were travelling in overturned and hit a barricade on Pune-Satara highway near Khandala on early Tuesday morning. More than 20 people were injured in the incident.
The accident occurred on the Pune-Satara Highway after the Khambatki Tunnel in the Khandala ghats, said official.
The vehicle, carrying at 36 labourers from Karnataka's Bijapur, was heading towards Pune. The driver reportedly "dozed off" and lost control of the vehicle while managing a difficult 'S' turn, leading to the accident, claim police.
"After crossing the Khambatki ghat section, there is a difficult turning of 'S' shape. It is an accident-prone spot. The truck driver probably dozed off and lost control over the wheels, as a result of which the vehicle hit a barricade and overturned," Satara's Superintendent of Police Sandeep Patil told PTI.
The labourers were carrying construction equipment. Due to the weight of the equipments, the tempo was thrown into a wayside ditch with great force.
"They were carrying some sharp and heavy equipment in the truck. When the vehicle overturned, the equipment fell on the labourers. Many of them died due to head injuries caused by the equipment," the SP added.
Several people, including the driver, died on spot. Those injured have been rushed to Satara Civil Hospital.