Accident on Eastern Freeway: Here's how the horror unfolded
The Eastern Freeway is fast turning into a death trap. After yesterday’s accident on the stretch near Chembur, the vehicles were so mangled that gas cutters had to be used to extricate the victims
The Eastern Freeway is fast turning into a death trap. Last morning, three persons were killed and two others were injured in a pile-up car crash on the stretch near Chembur. The vehicles were so mangled that gas cutters had to be used to extricate the victims
View Photos: Deadly accident on Eastern Freeway in Mumbai
The fire brigade extricates a victim from the mangled remains. Pics/Atul Kamble
It is suspected that at least one of the vehicles was speeding.
RCF police said a Toyota Innova driven by Dockyard Road resident Abdul Hamid Mohammad Hasan Sirwa (48) was headed for Thane on the freeway. He was allegedly speeding and lost control over his vehicle near Chembur. “The SUV vaulted over the road divider and crashed into an oncoming Hyundai Santro taxi, heading for CST. A Swift Dzire that was right behind the taxi, too, crashed into it,” said a police official.
The cars were so mangled that gas cutters had to be used to take out the victims
The taxi driver, Nandlal Jaiswal (46), a resident of Vartak Nagar in Thane, and his passenger, Vijay Kelkar (48), died on the spot. Sirwa was rescued, but declared dead on arrival at the Sion Hospital. The occupants of the Swift Dzire car — Mahesh Kukulekar (38) and Ajay Jadhav (33), civil engineers and residents of Kharghar and Vashi, escaped with minor injuries. They were admitted to Shatabdi Hospital in Govandi, but discharged soon.
Police officials said Sirwa, Jaiswal and Kelkar were trapped in their vehicles. The fire brigade was alerted around 9.27 am. It got stuck in a subsequent traffic jam on the freeway and could reach the spot only by 9.48 am.
Arif Siddique, who saw the cars piled up on the freeway while on his way to Mumbai Central from Chembur, was horrified by the extent of damage to the cars. “I use the freeway to save time. Often, I see motorists speeding,” he said.
A taxi driver, who was standing near the ramp of the Eastern Freeway near Mahul, learnt of the accident when he saw traffic police rushing to the spot. “They told us that people were trapped inside the cars and that the frames of the vehicles had to be cut. Parts of the cars were still stuck in the bodies when they were taken out.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone VI) Shahaji Umap said a case under section 304 (A)(causing death by negligence) has been filed against Sirwa based on a complaint from Kukulekar.
(Reported by Ranjeet Jadhav, Faisal Tandel, Rupsa Chakraborty and Aparna Shukla)
Bring back rumble strips: Experts
Transport experts recommend bringing back the rubber rumble strips on the freeway. These speed breakers were removed by the traffic police after it was found that they were slowing down traffic immensely.
AV Shenoy, a transport expert, says the rumblers were erected after a series of accidents on the freeway. “Besides bringing back these rumblers, signage on speed limit and warnings on the stretch being accident-prone should be installed.”
The BMC had in July last year installed eight CCTV cameras on an 16.8-km, accident-prone stretch of the Eastern Freeway.
Experts want traffic police to catch speeding motorists with the help of CCTV camera footage and take stringent action against them.
Sept 2013: A biker enters the Eastern Freeway from the wrong side, dies in an accident. Pillion rider sustains grievous injuries.
July 2015: A motorist dies and another person is injured when their vehicle rams into the divider.
June 2015: Two people killed and three others injured when the speeding car of lawyer Janhavi Gadkar (35) crashes into another.
Abdul Hamid Mohammad Hasan Sirwa was much beloved, said sister Fatima Abdul Latif. His joviality, she added, rubbed off on those around him.
Abdul Hamid Mohammad Hasan Sirwa
His popularity became evident when more than 100 well-wishers turned up at the Sion Hospital to condole the family.
Sirwa, an automobile dealer, was on his way to his workshop in Thane when he swerved off the road.
“He used to travel with his children to work.” On the fateful day, the children were not in the car. The family has taken the body to Mangalore, their hometown, for the last rites.
Dedicated life to kids
Nandlal Jaiswal took up driving a taxi to ensure that his two children — Anuraag Jaiswal (15) and Shakshi (18) — would never lose opportunities to make it big.
“Like every day, my father left home to drive his taxi. He was a very loving father and always inspired us to study and make something of ourselves,” said Shakshi.
Jaiswal’s body was taken to his house in Vartak Nagar, Thane, around 8.30pm after a post-mortem examination at
Rajawadi Hospital. His wife, Madhu, fainted when the body was brought in.
Mother yet to be told
Vijay Kelkar’s ailing mother was not told of his death, said brother-in-law Sandeep Gora.
“He had taken a cab from Thane to his office in World Trade Centre.” Kelkar has two school-going daughters.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe