At least 25 people burned alive in bus crash

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Esha Saxena Mandala
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At least 25 people have lost their lives after a bus overturned and caught fire in the Indian state of Maharashtra. According to local media, three children are among the victims.

The incident took place on the Samruddhi Mahamarg Expressway near the city of Buldhana at around 1:30am local time on Saturday.

Police officials said that most of the passengers were asleep at the time of the accident.

The bus was traveling at a high speed when it hit the pole and then a wall on the highway. Due to its impact, the two [front] tyres came off and the diesel tank of the bus exploded, following which the bus caught fire,” the authorities told reporters.

The flames spread rapidly as there were mattresses on the bus, police said. Many of the passengers were trapped inside as the vehicle reportedly ended up with its doors pressed against the surface of the road.

Eight people, including the driver, managed to escape, sustaining injuries.

Officials suspect that the driver, who is now in police custody, may have fallen asleep.

The man as well as the bus owner insist that the vehicle lost control after one of its tires burst.

The office of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a tweet on Saturday, saying he is “saddened by the devastating bus mishap in Buldhana, Maharashtra.

The local administration is providing all possible assistance to the affected,” the message read.

In a subsequent post, Modi announced compensation of 200,000 rupees ($2,436) to the relatives of the deceased, and 50,000 rupees to the injured.

The state government said it would provide 500,000 rupees to the bereaved families.

At least 25 people burned alive in bus crash
People gather at the site of a deadly bus crash on the Samruddhi Expressway on July 1, 2023, Buldhana district, Maharashtra, India. © AFP / Gajanan MEHETRE/AFP

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