At least 18 labourers were killed and 17 others were injured when a tempo carrying them from Karnataka to Pune overturned on Tuesday, a police official said.
The accident occurred on the Pune-Satara Highway after the Khambatki Tunnel in the Khandala ghats, the official said.
As the tempo zoomed out on an S-shaped stretch ,on the highway which is a potentially hazardous accident spot, it suddenly struck a barricade and overturned.
The truck was carrying construction labourers from Bijapur and was headed towards Pune when it met with the accident around 4:30 am on Mumbai-Bengaluru highway. The police received word of the accident at around 5 am,
Bogged down by the weight of some construction equipment, it was thrown into a wayside ditch with great force, the impact killing many on board instantly, including the driver, according to the official.
The police said at least 35 labourers mainly from Bijapur in the adjoining state were bound for work at a construction site at Shirval, near Pune.
According to preliminary investigations, the tempo driver may have dozed off at the wheel and many of the labourers suffered injuries on account of the heavy construction material loaded onto the vehicle.
Padmakar Ghanwat, Police Inspector in Satara Police Station confirmed the events and said that the bodies of the 18 deceased have been handed over to their families.
With IANS inputs