Two people died and five others were injured after the car they were travelling in veered off the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and caught fire on Tuesday. The accident took place near Rees village in Khalapur around 1.30am.
The police said the victims were residents of Shivaji Nagar in Pune and were returning home from their native place in Rajasthan via Mumbai.
“Just before entering a bridge near the village, the driver, Mahendra Lohar, 34, lost control of the car. It veered to the extreme left, eventually falling onto another road that was around 15 feet under the bridge. The car’s fuel tank may have then exploded because fire engulfed the entire car,” said SI Sawami, police sub inspector from Rasayini police station.
Lohar’s wife, Sonam, 28, and daughter Urvi, 3, were stuck in the car. They suffered 99% burns and died on the spot. Lohar, his seven-year-old son Karan and three other people — Bharat Lohar, 30, Narangi Lohar, 37, and Dipti Lohar, 13, were injured in the accident. They were admitted to a hospital in Panvel and are now reportedly out of danger.
“Prime facie it appears Lohar fell asleep at the wheel because he had been driving for a long time. We will book him for negligent driving. We have not found any reason to believe this is a drink driving case,” Swami said.
The police sent Sonam and Urvi’s body to Panvel rural hospital for a post-mortem, the reports of which are yet to come.