Members of the Khetles' extended family were preparing for a celebration, but are now in mourning.
The Khetles had gone to Khed in Ratnagiri to talk to the parents of the boy they wanted their daughter, Manisha, to get married to and had fixed the wedding date.
Instead, relatives got a call from the police saying nine members of the Bhandup family had died in an accident on the Mumbai-Goa highway, when they were returning to the city.
The car the family was travelling in hit a Volvo bus.
“All the family elders had gone to Khed because they wanted to finalise the alliance. But it turned out to be a disaster we could have never imagined,” a relative of the Khetles, who did not wish to be identified, said.
The Khetles had called their relatives in Mumbai to let them know that the wedding date had been fixed for May 2011.
“We were waiting for them to come to the city to celebrate but we got a call informing us about the accident,” the relative said.
“We still cannot come to terms with the fact that three families have been wiped out.”
By the time the relatives reached the accident spot, the bodies had been taken to the hospital.
“The area was covered in fog even when we reached there. That may have been the reason the driver did not spot the luxury bus approaching,” the relative said.