Eleven persons were killed in two road accidents in the State early on Wednesday.

In the accident at Metikurki village in Hiriyur taluk of Chitradurga district, around 3 a.m., six persons were burnt to death when the private bus they were travelling in caught fire. The bus was going from Bangalore to Davangere and had 25 passengers on board. It hit a road divider and toppled when the driver, after noticing fire in his cabin, was trying to get the vehicle on to the road side.

There was panic all around. Six passengers, who were asleep, could not escape because of the thick smoke, and were burned to death. The other passengers managed to escape by breaking open the window panes and jumping out. The police said the bus owners hadn't maintained a list of passengers, and they were waiting for enquires from relatives. The bodies were taken to the Basaveshwar Medical College and Hospital and later sent to Bangalore for DNA tests.

Driver Fairoz, who fled after the accident, was arrested around noon in Hiriyur town.

In the other accident, between Sutgatti and Udakeri, about 65 km from Belgaum city, around the same time, five members of a family were killed after the private vehicle they had hired overturned. The police said the driver, who seemed to have been drowsy, lost control of the vehicle. The victims were returning home after a pilgrimage to the Saundatti–Yellamma hill on Tuesday. Driver Raju Gundu Patil was among the injured.

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