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7 killed in Karnataka bus fire

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7 killed in Karnataka bus fire
7 killed in Karnataka bus fire

Bangalore – Seven people were burnt to death and 25 passengers were injured early Thursday when a private-run 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 bus of Volvo make from Bangalore to Mumbai hit the railing of a bridge on National Highway 4 (NH 4) at high speed and caught fire as its fuel tanker beneath burst,” Haveri Super! intendent of Police M. Shashi Kumar told IANS.

About 50 passenge! rs were onboard the ill-fated 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.

“We are yet to identify the gender of the victims as their bodies are fully burnt. 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.

“The bus driver is absconding while its cleaner is injured and is in a hospital at Haveri,” Kumar said.

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.

The accident is a grim reminder of another incident when 45 passengers perished in a similar bus fire at Mahabub! nagar in Andhra Pradesh in a private-run luxury bus of Volvo make Oct 30.

State transport minister Ramalinga Reddy rushed to the spot from here to inspect the accident and supervise the rescue and relief operations.

“Over speeding appears to be the cause of the accident, as in the previous incident. We are ordering a probe to ascertain the reason though the driver could be at fault to drive so recklessly,” Reddy told reporters here.

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