Five people died and at least five others were injured after five vehicles collided on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway near Khopoli in Raigad district in the early hours of Tuesday. The accident took place around 12.45 am, the police said. Veterinary medical officer of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) was among the deceased.
Dr Vaibhav Jhunjhare, 4, along with his family was coming to Navi Mumbai from Solapur in his own car when he met with the accident. His mother Usha Jhunjhare, 63, wife Vaishali Jhunjhare, 38 and daughter Shriya, 5 also died in the accident. However, his 11-year-old son Arnab suffered injuries in the accident and he has been admitted to a hospital in Panvel. They were residing at the civic official quarter in sector 15 in Nerul.
The police said that Dr Jhunjhare had gone to his native place to bring back his family. They were returning to Navi Mumbai in their private vehicle when they met with the accident. According to his colleagues from NMMC, Dr Jhunjare had shifted his family to native place due to COVID-19 as he was on COVID-19 duty. The NMMC administration has expressed grief at the loss of lives.
“The exact reason for the accident has not been understood yet. There was a trailer, a truck, and three cars in the pile-up. Four people died on the spot, while one later died in a hospital. Those who suffered injuries were rushed to a hospital near Panvel,” said a police officer.
The others who received injuries are Swapnil Kamble, 30, a resident of Goregaon (w), Prakash Nahar, 65, a resident of Goregaon (w), Kishan Chaudhary and Kaluram Jat.