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4 Killed, 3 Injured as Chemical Tanker Catches Fire on Mumbai-Pune Expressway

At least four people were killed and three others injured after a chemical tanker overturned and caught fire on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on Tuesday, officials said.

The tragedy took place on a bridge in the Khandala ghat sections near Lonavala and esulted in massive traffic snarls on the Mumbai-bound arm of the expressway.

Hundreds of litres of the unidentified chemical seeped on the road, causing a risk of vehicles skidding and leading to more tragedies.

The tanker could be seen burning from afar with the flames reaching at least 15-16 metres in the air.

Some of the burning chemicals fell on the road under the bridge near Kunegaon village and halted the traffic below, and one speeding two-wheeler was reported to have skidded on the chemicals with a man and a minor boy getting seriously injured.

Local witnesses said that at least four persons have perished in the tragedy, and three more hurt and further official details were awaited as efforts to douse the blaze got underway and a crane was deployed to shift the tanker a safe distance away from the highway lanes.

The tanker blaze, the cause of which not yet clear, led to a 7-8 kms long traffic jam, hampering the movement of the fire brigade and other rescue vehicles.

Highway authorities have diverted the oncoming traffic via the Lonavala bypass towards Mumbai, though traffic towards Pune was allowed to proceed slowly.

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