27 killed in Maharashtra accident (Third lead)

May 28th, 2012 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, May 26 (IANS) At least 27 people were killed on their way back from a wedding and over 20 injured as a speeding truck hit two stationary mini-buses on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway early Monday, officials said.

The accident occurred near Khalapur, around 80 km from Mumbai.

According to the Raigad police control room, the accident occurred shortly after midnight when one of the mini-buses developed a technical problem. Both the buses stopped by the roadside to rectify the problem when the loaded truck hit them. Many of the occupants, who were sleeping, were killed on the spot. The truck also mowed down others who were waiting for a relief bus.

The buses, carrying members of a marriage party from Ghatkopar suburb of northeast Mumbai, were returning to Pune when the gruesome accident occurred, an official said.

Over 20 injured people were rushed to hospitals in Navi Mumbai.

One of the bus drivers told mediapersons that the victims were taken completely unawares by the speeding truck and a majority of them were killed instantaneously.

Officials from the state highway authority said this was by far the biggest accident on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway since it was opened to traffic 12 years ago. However, there has been no official confirmation of this.

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