Two killed as luxury bus from Goa to Mumbai catches fire in Kolhapur

16 passengers escape with minor burns in freak accident

Published - November 25, 2017 12:59 am IST

Pune: Two passengers travelling on a luxury bus from Goa to Mumbai were charred to death when the bus caught fire in Kolhapur early on Friday. Sixteen others had a narrow escape.

The fire was caused by a short circuit in the air-conditioning system, according to Assistant Sub-Inspector A.K. Sangle of Gaganbawada police station.

The deceased have been identified as Vicky Madan Bhat, a resident of Hadapsar in Pune, and Buntyraj Bhat, from Roshanpura in Bhopal. Both were aged around 24, said the Kolhapur police.

Their bodies were sent to the C.P.R. Hospital in Kolhapur city where the remaining passengers were treated for minor burns.

In all, 18 passengers were on board the Margaon-Mumbai sleeper bus, which belonged to a Goa-based private tour company, Atmaram Travels. The mishap occurred near Gaganbawada township, around 55 km from Kolhapur city.

Police said the headlights of the bus suddenly stopped functioning around 3 a.m. “The driver stepped out to check the wiring and tried to tinker with the electrical system. Suddenly, smoke rose from the wiring system and snowballed into a blaze, enveloping the bus in no time,” Mr. Sangle told The Hindu .

While the driver managed to alert and pull out 16 passengers, Vikcy Madan Bhat and Buntyraj Bhat, who were sleeping at the rear, got caught in the fire.

“Owing to the luggage, the fire spread even more rapidly. The two could not get out of the exit in time. We will be filing a case of negligence against the travel company,” Mr. Sangle said.

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