At least 25 people were killed when a bus crashed and caught fire in the early hours of Saturday in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, according to police and officials.
“The bus was travelling from Nagpur to Pune when at around 1:35 am, it met with an accident on Samruddhi Mahamarg expressway, after which the diesel tank of the bus caught fire,” local police told Reuters TV partner ANI.
“The majority of deaths were caused due to burning.”
According to the report, about 30-35 people were in the bust; officials told AFP.
Devendra Fadnavis, the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, posted on Twitter that 25 people had died and eight had been injured.
According to the report, authorities believe the driver, one of the survivors, may have fallen asleep at the wheel. The driver was the subject of an FIR that the police were filing.
“The bus was travelling at high speed when it hit the pole and then a wall on the highway. Due to its impact, the two (front) tyres came off, and the diesel tank of the bus exploded, following which the bus caught fire,” Indian Express quoted a police official in its report.
Eknath Shinde, the state’s chief minister, and Narendra Modi, the prime minister, expressed their sadness in separate tweets. They promised to provide each victim’s family support totalling 700,000 Indian rupees ($8,500).