Seven people were burnt to death and 25 passengers were injured early Thursday when a private bus caught fire on a bridge near Haveri town, about 330 km from here in northern Karnataka, a senior police official said.
“The mishap took place around 2.45 a.m. when the luxury Volvo bus from Bangalore to Mumbai hit the railing of a bridge on National Highway 4 at high speed and caught fire as its fuel tanker beneath burst,” Haveri police chief M. Shashi Kumar said.
About 50 passengers were on board the bus operated by the city-based Nationals Travels. The bus left for Mumbai late Wednesday from the city centre and crossed a hamlet Kunimallahalli, 15 km from Haveri, when it caught fire.
“Six of the injured have been rushed to a state run hospital at Hubli, around 50km from Haveri, as their condition is critical due to severe burns,” Kumar said. There were 43 men and six women among the passengers.
Though most of the passengers were asleep when the fire broke out and the flames started leaping up from beneath, all the survivors managed to escape by breaking the emergency exit window and jumping from the burning bus.