The accident took place at around 4pm at Meshi Phata on the Malegaon-Deola Road in the North Maharashtra district.
Mumbai: At least 20 people were killed when a speeding state transport (ST) bus collided with an auto -rickshaw, causing both the vehicles to fall into a roadside well in Maharashtra’s Nashik district on Tuesday. The accident took place at around 4pm at Meshi Phata on the Malegaon-Deola Road in the North Maharashtra district.
More than 18 people also sustained injuries in the accident, an official said, adding the injured were mostly bus passengers. The impact of the collision was so severe that the bus dragged the auto-rickshaw along with it and both the vehicles fell into a roadside well.
Transport minister and MSRTC chairman Anil Parab termed the accident as unfortunate and announced `10 lakh compensation each to the kin of the deceased. He said the MSRTC will bear the entire cost of treatment of the injured people.
“At least 20 bodies have been pulled out of the well and injured are being treated at state-run hospitals,” said Arti Singh, superintendent of police, Nashik Rural.
“We are drawing out water from the well with the help of pumps to check if more passengers are still stuck in the mud,” she said.
An official said that the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation-run (MSRTC) bus was on its way to Kalwan town in Nashik from the adjoining Dhule district, while the auto-rickshaw was coming from opposite direction.
A rescue operation with the help of police, fire brigade and local teams was on at the crash site, he said. The bus has been pulled out of the well, police said.
Meanwhile, the MSRTC, in a release late in the evening, said the bus driver was prima facie responsible for the devastating crash. It was not yet known if the bus driver was among the deceased.
“It seems the bus driver, P.S. Bachhav, from Kalwan depot, was prima facie responsible for the accident, said the release.