At least 10 pilgrims were killed and 24 others injured when a speeding private luxury bus carrying Shirdi Saibaba devotees crashed into a truck near Patharde here on Friday, Nashik Police said.
The accident took place around 7 a.m., when the bus from Ambernath town in Thane was speeding to the temple town of Shirdi in Ahmednagar district via Sinnar-Shirdi state highway.
The bus, carrying around 45 passengers, reportedly crashed headlong into the truck coming from the opposite direction and then overturned, resulting in the huge tragedy, said the police.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde expressed shock and grief over the tragedy and announced a compensation of Rs.5-lakhs to the kin of all the deceased besides free medical treatment for all the injured victims.
Shinde has also ordered a detailed probe into the accident, the causes and related aspects, said an official. Among the victims are six women, two men and two children, said the police.
Of the injured victims, 20 are admitted to the Sinnar Rural Hospital, Matoshree Hospital, Yeshwant Hospital and Salunkhe Hospital, and four were treated and allowed to go by the Sinnar Rural Hospital.
Some who are seriously injured have been rushed to the Shirdi Superspeciality Hospital and the Vavi Police have registered an accident case with the probe underway. The police said seven of the fatalities have been identified and work is on to establish the identities of the other three others who lost their lives.
Meanwhile, on hearing of the calamity, the shocked families and friends of the victims have started rushing from Ambernath and surroundings to Nashik.