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 G.S. Deepamala, and son G. Prashanth (26) were returning to Bangalore after having darshan of Lord Venkateswara on Tirumala Hills.
At 4.15 a.m., the vehicle caught fire after its petrol tank exploded.
The blazing vehicle ran amok on the national highway for about 200 metres before coming to a halt on the roadside.
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 Prashanth, who suffered over 80 per cent burns. The police were forced to bring the medical team to the spot to conduct post-mortem. Prashanth was shifted to the Christian Medical College Hospital in 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. The head of the family was driving the vehicle,” he added.