Tragedy struck 28 members of a marriage party, most of them women, when they were electrocuted after the bus they were travelling in touched a high-voltage wire and caught fire in this in Madhya Pradesh district.

The incident occurred when an iron box and almirah kept on top of the bus came in contact with the overhead wire near Surajpur village, Mandla Collector K.K. Khare said.

The deceased, all tribals, comprised 23 women, two men and three boys, he said, adding there were 36 people in that ill-fated bus.

Six injured are undergoing treatment at the district hospital.

The marriage party was returning from Sukaria village to Doni village. A criminal case has been registered against the bus owner, driver and conductor, police said, adding the driver and conductor jumped from the vehicle when it came in contact with the wire.

In Bhopal, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh each to the families of the deceased and free treatment to the injured.

He said a magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the accident.