Three persons were on Sunday killed and three others sustained injuries after a landslide on the busy Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
The incident took place around 12.30 pm when the car in which the victims were travelling was hit by a landslide.
Following the landslide, the road has been closed for traffic.
The injured have been admitted to a hospital in Lonavla.
By around 1.30 pm, the vehicular traffic towards Pune resumed to normalcy, albeit at a slow pace, but the Mumbai lane continued to remain blocked as the rescue operation is in progress. For the time being, the traffic towards Pune has been diverted along the Old Mumbai-Pune highway.
Sources in the Highway Police say the iron holding on the side of the expressway has become old and so the area is landslide prone, putting motorists at risk every day, especially during monsoons.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu later 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.
"Six trains leaving Pune for Mumbai in the next six hours plus one special will be run at 19:30 hrs from Pune to Mumbai with 16 coaches. Similarly one special will be run from CSTM at 19:15hrs. Both the special trains are being announced on TV and FM channels. Expressway accident," Prabhu said on Twitter.
The Maharashtra government has announced compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.
Maharashtra Public Works Development minister Eknath Shinde who visited the spot said the rescue operation to clear the debris and restart the traffic, though hampered by rains and fog, was going on a war footing.
"We are taking necessary measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents during the monsoon", he added.
The Mumbai-Pune Expressway is a nearly 100 kilometer long six-lane road which was constructed in 2002
Earlier also, landslides were reported on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway during monsoons.
Last month, landslide caused by heavy rains had resulted in traffic disruptions on the busy Mumbai-Pune route.