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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Accident took place at the worst spot on national highway in state

Kailash Korde, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, May 30, 2013
First Published: 01:22 IST(30/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:23 IST(30/5/2013)

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad national highway has witnessed 980 accidents in the past four years, in which 281 people have lost their lives and 338 have been seriously injured.

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Data compiled by the state highway police shows that of the five major highways that connect to Mumbai, the Ahmedabad highway is down at the fourth spot as far as accidents are concerned.

With 1,779 accidents, the Mumbai-Agra highway tops the list, followed by Mumbai-Bangalore and Mumbai-Goa highway.

However, the stretch from Kude to Sativali at Manor on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway is the most accident-prone stretch on national highways in Maharashtra, as per data with the Union road transport and highways ministry, which has listed 25 dangerous spots. The problem seems to be that the road along this stretch goes zig-zag.

On Wednesday morning, 14 people were killed at this spot when a tanker carrying chemicals and heading to Gujarat crashed into a Mumbai-bound luxury bus.

An official from the Regional Transport Office who visited that accident spot at Medvan Ghat told Hindustan Times that prima facie it looks like the mishap took place as the tanker driver, who was driving at high speed, may have lost control of the vehicle while negotiating a steep turn. “The tanker is registered at Pen RTO and has a valid fitness certificate and permit,” he said.

Padmakar Helekar, a defensive driving expert, said that with high-speed driving, as the per-second distance covered by vehicle increases, the driver’s angle of vision gets narrower. “It means that the driver gets less reaction time to control the vehicle in case of any emergency, which increases the chance of accidents,” Helekar said.

RTO sources said that around 22 years ago, in November  1991, near the same spot, a tanker had met with an accident, but in that case there was chemical leakage, which killed at least 110 people.

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