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Raigad bus accident: Cops to question lone survivor

Police will question the lone survivor of the July 28 bus accident in Maharashtra’s Raigad district, in which 30 people were killed, but “not as an accused”, a senior official said on Monday.

Thirty out of 31 passengers in a bus, all staff of the Dr Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapith in Dapoli, were killed on July 28 after the vehicle plunged into a 500-foot deep gorge near Ambenali Ghat on the Poladpur-Mahabaleshwar road, about 180 kilometres from here.

Prakash Sawant-Desai was the only passenger who survived the accident after he managed to hold on to the branches of trees when the bus plunged into the gorge.

“Since he is the only witness, we are going to question him in connection with the incident, but not as an accused,” Superintendent of Police, Raigad, Anil Paraskar, said on Monday.

The SP added that Sawant-Desai would be questioned to ascertain the cause of the accident and the chain of events that may have led to it.

While there are reports that a relative of one of the deceased had written a letter to the Raigad SP raising suspicion that Sawant-Desai may have been driving the ill-fated vehicle when the mishap took place, Paraskar said he had not received the letter.

“I have seen such a message as a WhatsApp forward but I haven’t officially received any letter as yet,” the SP informed.

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