Three people died after a landslide on the Mumbai-Pune expressway, which took place on Sunday afternoon.
The incident took place around 12.30 PM when the victims were travelling in a car and was hit by a landslide, they said.
The deceased were identified as Dilip Gopal Patel (52), resident of Bhayander and Shashikant Dhamankar. Three injured were said to be Mangal Mane (35), Sushila Dhamankar (60) and Nirmala Gopal Patel (60). Injured were taken to Lokmanya Hospital in Nigdi and admitted in ICU.
Following the landslide, the road has been closed for traffic. Investigation is underway to find out whether the victims were travelling from Pune to Mumbai or vice versa, police said.
The injured have been admitted to a hospital in Lonavla.
One of the passing cars was completely smashed after tons of earth and rocks landed on the highway near the Adoshi tunnel, close to Lonavala, blocking a portion of the road.
Ambulances and emergency services were rushed to the spot both lanes of the busy expressway were immediately closed for traffic. The highway police have appealed to motorists to use the old Mumbai-Pune road.
The operation to clear the debris from the roads was on, said the Highway Police. Two special trains from Mumbai to Pune was started to reduce the rush on roads.
Late in the evening, one lane — for traffic towards Pune — was cleared.
Sources say the iron holding on the side of the expressway has become old and so the area has become landslide prone, especially during monsoons.
Earlier also, landslides were reported on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway during monsoons.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced two special trains between Mumbai and Pune to clear the passengers stranded due to a landslide on the busy highway that has crippled road traffic.
He also said the passengers can avail train services to reach their destination.
Last month, landslide caused by heavy rains had resulted in traffic disruptions on the busy Mumbai-Pune route.
Investigation is underway to find out whether the victims were travelling from Pune to Mumbai or vice versa, police said. The injured have been admitted to a hospital in Lonavla.