At least 11 persons were killed and 38 others injured as a private bus travelling to Mumbai caught fire after hitting a trailer truck in Maharashtra’s Nashik on Saturday, reported PTI.
“A luxury bus travelling to Mumbai from Yavatmal hit a trailer truck going to Pune at an intersection near Mirchi Hotel on Nashik-Aurangabad highway. Soon after ramming into the truck, the bus caught fire in which 11 passengers died,” Nashik Police Commissioner Jayant Naiknavare said, as quoted by PTI.
He also said that before catching fire, the bus had hit a mini cargo van, which overturned as a result.
The sleeper coach private bus had around 30 passengers on-board and the truck was en route Mumbai. The bus collided with the truck at Nandur Naka at around 5 AM on Nashik-Aurangabad highway, and in just a few minutes caught fire. Most of the deceased were bus passengers.
The bus was completely gutted in the incident. Eyewitnesses say that the fire was so intense that none could help the passengers who were stuck inside. Officials said that the death toll could likely rise, the PTI report read.
The injured were taken to a the District Civil Hospital and another private medical facility in Nashik, the CP said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to the next of kin of each of the deceased, and Rs 50,000 would be given to those who got injured.
“Anguished by the bus tragedy in Nashik. My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones in this mishap. May the injured recover at the earliest. The local administration is providing all possible assistance to those affected,” a tweet from the PMO read.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced a financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the deceased, adding that medical expenses of the injured will be borne by the state government.
President Droupadi Murmu also condoled the loss of lives in the accident. “I am deeply saddened to learn about the death of many people in the Nashik bus fire incident. I express my deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the accident. I wish the injured a speedy recovery,” the President said in a tweet in Hindi.