A 45-year-old truck driver was killed in an explosion on Mumbai-Bengaluru Highway near Kolhapur late on Friday, the police said on Saturday. At around 11.30 pm, Dattatray Patil had stopped on the road after his truck broke down on the highway, a senior police official from Kolhapur police said.
The police suspect that the deceased might have handled a box containing some explosive substance, triggering the blast, the officer said. Patil sustained severe injuries and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.
The deceased, a resident of Kolhapur in Maharashtra, was returning to the city after delivering some goods at the MIDC area in Shirgaon. "It is unclear if Patil was carrying the box with him or he found it on the side of the road," the official said.
Patil had reportedly called up his friend after the truck broke down, but the friend showed up after the blast had occurred and could not explain what had transpired, he said. The police have registered a case of accidental death and are investigating the incident, the official added.