Twenty persons were injured on the Pune-Bengaluru highway on Sunday after a truck collided with several vehicles, The Indian Express reported.
The accident took place at 9 pm on the city’s Navale bridge.
The Pune Police said that six of the injured persons have been admitted to a hospital, and one of them is in a critical condition, according to ANI. The rest of them were administered first aid.
Twenty-four cars suffered serious damage in the accident. Early reports had said that 48 vehicles were affected, but the police subsequently clarified that the number included vehicles that suffered minor damage.
The police had initially suspected that the brakes of the truck may have failed. However, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Sinhagad Road division) Sunil Pawar said that the truck driver had turned off the ignition and drove on neutral gear on a downward slope, but could not apply the brakes, according to The Indian Express.
The driver, a Madhya Pradesh resident named Maniram Chhotelal Yadav, fled the scene. The police have filed a case against him under provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and Indian Penal Code.
Rescue teams from the Pune Fire Brigade and Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority reached the spot immediately.
The Nationalist Congress Party MP from Baramati, Supriya Sule, requested the state government to ensure that the injured persons are tended to on priority. “We pray to God that the injured persons in this incident get well soon and return home safely,” Sule tweeted.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Shivajinagar Siddharth Shirole requested citizens to not share unverified videos and information and also asked them to refrain from visiting the spot.
Meanwhile, the accident led to a two-kilometre long traffic jam on the road towards Mumbai, NDTV reported.