At least 18 labourers were killed and 15 injured when a truck overturned in Satara district of western Indian state of Maharashtra early today, a police official said. The condition of three of the injured labourers was reported to be critical, he said.
The workers, said to hail from Vijayapura district of Karnataka, were coming for work in Shirwal MIDC in Pune district when the accident occurred at Satara's Khandala tehsil.
"After crossing the Khambatki ghat section, there is a hard turning of "S" shape".
As the tempo zoomed out on an S-shaped stretch, on the highway which is a potentially hazardous accident spot, it suddenly struck a barricade and overturned.
The "S" shaped road near the Khandala tunnel with a sharp turn is considered risky and numerous accidents have been reported on the stretch. The truck was carrying around 35 labourers.
According to authorities, the driver lost control of the vehicle after negotiating the Khambatki Ghat and reaching a unsafe bend at the tail-end of the mountain pass. "Many of them died due to head injuries", the SP said.
The labourers, carrying heavy and sharp equipment, were heading to a construction site in Pune, Patil said. Yesterday, 27 children died in a bus accident in Himachal Pradesh after the vehicle fell into a gorge. The injured have been rushed to a nearby hospital.
The bodies have been sent for postmortem and the process to identify the victims is on, the police added.