The bus hit a barricade and turned turtle, police said adding, its diesel tank caught fire. The incident took place at around 2.15 am. The driver was among those killed.
Twenty-five of the injured have been admitted to Challanakeri hospital and three have been taken to a government hospital here. The government has announced a compensation of Rs one lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased. Many of the bodies have been charred beyond recognition, making it difficult to identify them, police said. There were 15 women among the dead, they said.
Ten of the bodies have been sent for DNA testing to help in their identification. The ill-fated bus belonged to North-East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC).
NEKRTC MD Shankar Patil said according to preliminary information, the driver wanted to avoid (hitting) one more bus and took a right turn when the mishap occurred. Due to the fire, the casualties were high, he said.
The bus left from Surpur in Gulbarga district for Bangalore. As per norms, we had kept two drivers. The name of one driver is Shetty. He has 20 years of experience and always drives on that road. The second is Chipeiyar, having five years of experience, he said. A total of 30 passengers have died in the accident, Laboo Ram, SP of Chitradurga, said.
Three persons got major injuries and they have been shifted to Chitradurga government hospital. The remaining 25 are undergoing treatment in the (other) hospital and have got minor injuries. he said.