In an untoward incident which could have easily turned into a catastrophe claiming lives of several police personnel, a speeding tanker rammed into a police van ferrying 33 constables of the Local Arms Unit-IV at the Bisleri Junction on the Western Express Highway in Andheri (E) in the wee hours of Tuesday.
While one of the constables was brought dead to the Cooper hospital, eight others sustained various injuries and were hospitalised for treatment. The remaining 24 constables were treated and discharged from the Out Patient Department (OPD) itself. Home Minister R R Patil visited the injured at Cooper hospital, following which they were shifted to Fortis hospital in Mulund in the evening.
The deceased constable was identified as Safruddin Kazi (25), a resident of Marol police camp. Kazi, who was seated at the rear end of the van, was brought dead to Cooper. His body was handed over to his family in the morning itself after the post-mortem was conducted. The autopsy report revealed a cardiac arrest and haemorrhage as the cause of Kazi’s death. A medical officer at Cooper hospital said, “Kazi suffered internal bleeding due to a haemorrhage and a heart attack. He was brought dead to the hospital around 3 am on Tuesday.”
Following the accident, which occurred around 2 am, all the injured constables were rushed to Cooper. Of the 33 constables, 10 were female. While Anil Mode (26), Satish Mahajan (32) and Sandip Amoop (24) were admitted to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), Dattatray Gaikwad (21), Ansar Sheikh, Dhiraj Bhosale (25), Tejaswini Jadhav (24) and Swapnali Shinde (22) were admitted to the male and female surgical wards, respectively.
Mahajan underwent multiple stitches as shattered pieces of the windscreen, which broke on the impact of the accident, pierced his forehead, cheeks and chin. He was the most injured among all the personnel admitted at Cooper. Mahajan’s uncle said, “Luckily my nephew survived the accident. Pieces of shattered glass were all over his face. Doctors removed them and stitched the wounds.” He alleged that the hospital staff was not paying proper attention to the injured constables and that they preferred to shift Mahajan to another hospital.
Dr Pramod Nagarkar, senior AMO of the Cooper hospital, said, “Eight constables who were admitted to hospital are stable. They had suffered blunt trauma and injuries to their chest, neck and head. None of the injured required a surgery.”
Constable Tejaswini Jadhav said, “My colleague Swapnali and me were taking a nap at the time of the accident. Apart from the memory of the impact, I do not remember anything else.” Jadhav complained of terrible neck and back pain following the incident.
A senior police official from the Andheri police station said, “Between 1.30 and 2 am, a tanker going towards Borivli rammed into the police van that was on its way to Versova near Bisleri Junction. We have already arrested the tanker driver, Janardhan Singh (37) and he was produced in court. The court sent him to judicial custody till March 5. We have already sent his blood samples to check whether he was driving under the influence of alcohol.”