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India: 44 charred to death as bus catches fire in Andhra Pradesh

30th Oct 2013
India: 44 charred to death as bus catches fire in Andhra Pradesh

Mehaboobnagar, (Hindustan Times and Agencies): At least 44 passengers on board a Hyderabad-bound   Volvo bus were feared killed when it caught fire after hitting a roadside barrier on the way in the wee hours of Wednesday.

India has the highest annual road death toll in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Over 110,000 people are killed every year in road accidents across India, according to police.

In the Wednesday mishap, the passengers were apparently asleep when the privately operated bus (Jabbar Travels of Bangalore) crashed into the roadside barrier in Mehaboobnagar in southern Andhra Pradesh. They were trapped inside the bus, said deputy inspector general of police Naveen Kumar.

The hit caused a leak in the diesel tank which then caught fire and engulfed the bus at around 5.00am, local police spokesmen Venkateshwarlu and Pradeep said.

There were about 49 passengers on the bus. However, the driver and the cleaner escaped with three passengers after breaking the windows before the flames engulfed the vehicle, the police said.

“The driver and the cleaner tried to run, but the police caught them and they are now in our custody for questioning,” said Venkateshwarlu, adding that the three others were taken to a local hospital.

In May, at least 33 people had died when an overcrowded bus skidded off a road into a fast-flowing river in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.


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