Just hours after her wedding was celebrated with gusto at Ghatkopar’s Samaj Kalyan Mandir Kendra, relatives of the bride and groom were searching for their kin who were involved in the expressway disaster. Amidst all this, Manisha’s 67-year-old grandfather Sopan Kokate is still anxiously awaiting her phone call, as he couldn’t accompany his family members to Pune because of his ill health.
The bodies were sent to Laxminagar in Pune for the last rites. Manisha’s neighbours were jolted out of sleep at 5 am and were informed about the horrific incident. Vishal Kokate (19), a relative of the bride, said, “We have been glued to the television all morning waiting for updates from Pune. The wedding was a huge success but what followed has changed everything.”
Manisha’s family members, who are from an extremely humble background, had spent one and a half lakh rupees for the wedding. The bride’s father, Shahaji Gaikwad, is a small-time vocalist in Ghatkopar.
The wedding mahurat was scheduled for 13.05 at Samaj Kalyan Mandir Kendra, Ghatkopar (W). But the ceremony was delayed, as guests from Pune had not arrived
The wedding ceremony commenced and went on till 16.30
The 60 guests from Pune began preparations for their return journey. The minibuses arrived around 19.45, and then they proceeded on their journey
The bride, the groom, the groom’s mother and other relatives commenced their journey in a tempo for Pune after assembling and packing all the wedding gifts
A tyre of one of the Pune-bound minibuses was punctured on the expressway. Both the buses halted and switched on their tail lights. The guests got down and assembled between the two buses, while the tyre was being replaced
A highway patrol vehicle halted near the two buses and was offering to help
A speeding truck rammed into the stationary mini bus from behind. The impact of the mishap caused the bus to run over the people sitting between the two buses crushing them
The bride’s grandfather, Sopan Kokate, gets a call from one of the relatives informing him about the tragic accident
The Mumbai-based relatives of the injured left for Pune to locate their kin who were admitted at different hospitals between Panvel and Pune