Mumbai: Container crushes five vehicles after falling 20 feet off flyover

Dec 06, 2017, 16:31 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Absence of safety railings on Western Urban Road causes speeding container to slip and fall 20 feet below on to service road; driver arrested

Barely a month after mid-day reported how missing safety railings on the Western Urban Road were putting the lives of drivers at risk, the worst has happened. The absence of crash barriers on the south-bound stretch of the Western Urban Road near Pushpapark in Malad East resulted in a major accident at 3.45 am today, when a mini container lost control and fell 20 feet below on the service road.

This container fell on to a service road while trying to overtake truck. Pic/ Pradeep DhivarThis container fell on to a service road while trying to overtake truck. Pic/ Pradeep Dhivar

While three vehicles and two bikes were badly damaged in the incident, there were no casualties. According to preliminary investigations, the mini container, which was going towards South Mumbai, was trying to overtake a truck when the driver of the container lost control. The container went over the footpath, and fell on to the service road, crushing three vehicles and two bikes that were parked below. "As the incident took place in the wee hours, there were no pedestrians on the road. If it occurred during the day time, many people could have been injured too," an official with the Kurar Police said.

The other truck that was travelling on the highway also lost control and toppled over. "The drivers of the container and the truck have been arrested and sent for medical examination," the official added. Following the accident, traffic was blocked for nearly 45 minutes till the crash site was cleared.

When mid-day visited the spot, we found that crash barriers were missing on a stretch of 50-70 metres on the Western Urban Road. Amit Chaurasia, a resident of the area, whose vehicles were damaged in the incident, said, "We were sleeping, when we heard a loud noise. When I came out of the house, I was shocked to see that a huge mini container had landed on top of my two vehicles. The loss I will have to face could have been avoided, had there been crash barriers on the highway."

Two of Amit Chaurasia's cars were badly damaged in the incident

A few residents told this newspaper that crash barriers have been missing on this stretch for more than three years now. "Repeated pleas to the authorities to construct railings have gone unheard," a resident said.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) recently took charge of the maintenance of the road. It was previously maintained by the public works department of the state government.

When contacted, Dilip Kawatkar, joint project director, MMRDA said, "We will immediately look into the incident and instructions will be given to the officials concerned to install the missing crash barriers at the earliest."

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