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Pratik Salunke, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 21, 2013
The driver of the private bus, which plunged into a river in Ratnagiri, killing 37 people, was drunk when the accident took place, the police said on Wednesday. The police have ruled out mechanical fault in the bus and hold the driver, Santaji Kirdat, 36, responsible.
Kirdat has now been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and other sections of Motor Vehicles Act.

“The bus was new, its brakes were working. The medical report states that Kirdat was under the influence of alcohol. The accident took place as he fell asleep,” said Nandkumar Thakur, additional superintendent of police, Ratnagiri.

Kirdat consumed alcohol in Goa and did not drive till the bus reached Sindhudurg district. “The other driver, who died in the crash, drove till Kudal. Then, Kirdat took over,” Thakur said.