Four members of a family from Bangalore were charred to death at Boothalabanda Cross near Palamaner, when their vehicle caught fire early on Wednesday.

G.V. Satyanarayana (56), his wife S. Mahalakshmi (48), daughter Deepa Mala (23), and son Prashant Kumar (27) were returning to Bangalore from Tirumala Hills. At 4.15 a.m., the vehicle caught fire after its petrol tank exploded. The blazing vehicle ran amok for about 200 m before coming to a halt.

The Palamaner police said that as the vehicle suddenly caught fire, the doors were jammed and those inside could not escape. In a few minutes, the couple and their daughter were charred to death; passersby were able to pull out Prashant, who suffered over 80 p.c. burns. The police were forced to bring the medical team to conduct post-mortem. Prashant was shifted to the CMC Hospital, Vellore, where he succumbed in the afternoon. Palamaner Deputy Superintendent of Police Harinath Reddy said: “Short-circuit inside the vehicle and the petrol tank explosion seem to have led to the accident,” he added.