Audi fire obstructs traffic on sea link

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Traffic on Bandra-Worli Sea Link was held up for about an hour Sunday after an Audi R8 caught fire around 12.20 pm. Traffic was obstructed mainly because the incident took place during a Super Car rally, which began at Mahalaxmi Race Course, was on its way to the sea link.

"The car was entering the sea link from the Worli side when the incident took place," said a Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation official.

Bhavesh Thakkar, owner of the high-end luxury car that costs about Rs 1.8 crore, and a male co-passenger were rescued, police said, adding that both were unhurt.

An Audi spokesperson said initial investigations by company ground team suggested the car was modified and that could be the reason for the mishap.

"The incident held up traffic for around an hour till fire tenders arrived and the car was towed away. Fortunately, traffic was light as it was a holiday," said inspector P S Kore at Worli traffic post.

He said stopping traffic was more a precautionary measure. "We could not let vehicles pass as there was a risk of an explosion. Hence, we stopped movement in the south-bound lane of the sea link. Movement was allowed immediately after charred remains of the car were towed away. The sea link was back to normal shortly thereafter."

Within half-an-hour of the incident, many car enthusiasts lamented destruction of the sought-after vehicle. People called it a "sad day" and said their "hearts ached". "I think I'm going to cry now," tweeted 'Banna'

"This much money would have fed lakhs of famIlies and (would be enough) for many decent cars for transport," 'Sumit' tweeted.

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