One killed, five injured in Bandra-Worli Sea Link speeding accident

Driver of the Sumo lost control and rammed into an Indica on the south-bound wing of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link; a 28-yr-old died, while the others had a miraculous escape

A collision between two cars in the accident-prone Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL) killed one man and injured five others late on Sunday.

The Tata Sumo involved in the accident
The Tata Sumo involved in the accident

The deceased, identified as Ankit Shantaram Phondke (28), was killed after the car he was in, rammed into a Tata Indica that was ahead. After hitting the Indica, the driver also rammed into the safety wall of the Sea Link.

Both the cars, the Indica and the Tata Sumo, were Worli-bound. The occupants in the Indica escaped unhurt. Speeding and negligent driving have been touted as the reasons behind the mishap.

“We were informed about the accident on Monday at around 12.05 am. The Tata Sumo that was travelling via the south-bound stretch of the Sea Link drove into an Indica that was moving ahead of it. The exact reason of the accident is not known but speeding and losing control over the vehicle might have caused this,” said an official from the traffic department.

The traffic policemen rushed the injured to the hospital. Ankit was taken to nearby state-run Nair hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

The five injured were taken to JJ hospital initially, but later were shifted to KEM hospital.

Doctor says
“We suspect the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol. His samples have been given for testing. The four injured people were treated and discharged,” said a doctor attached to KEM.

The four occupants of the Sumo car were Bhaven Patel (23), Ankit Pednekar (24), Vilas Navale (23) and Nikhil Dhotre (22).

Driver arrested
The driver, Sandeep Nagvekar, has been arrested for rash and negligent driving. The case has been registered with the Worli police station.

“A case has been registered against the driver of Tata Sumo, Sandesh Nagvekar Sections 279, 337, 338, 427, 304 (A) of the IPC, and 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act for rash and negligent driving,” said an officer from Worli police station.

Traffic cop injured
In another accident at the Sea Link, a 35-year-old traffic constable was injured at around 1 am on Monday. A car hit the Bandra division constable while he was manning the traffic.

Sanjay More, the police constable, suffered a fracture in his left hand and is admitted at the Bombay Hospital, Marine Lines. The driver of the car, identified as Dhiraj Rajendra Sansare, has been arrested.

Keeping an eye on the Sea Link
There is no lane marking at the Sea Link, making it extremely dangerous for drivers. Mumbai Entry Point Limited (MEPL), the toll collection agency, has already installed a total of 80 HD CCTV cameras above and below the deck of the Sea Link. The cameras record the videos during night too. The monitoring in the control room is done 24x7. The cameras cover the entire 4.7-km stretch of the Sea Link. Earlier, there were only 6 CCTV cameras, majority of which were not functional. This was the basic reason why the authorities were unable to keep a watch on people attempting suicide. After a series of such suicides, a meeting between Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, state police and traffic officials was held in September. Deploying guards and increasing the height of the safety wall were discussed as possible solutions.

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