India bus fire kills at least 25, injures eight

A bus crashed and burst into flames, killing at least 25 people and injuring eight in India’s western state of Maharashtra in the early hours of Saturday, police and officials said.

Local police said the bus crashed into a road divider at around 1:35 a.m. (2000 GMT) on an expressway, rupturing the vehicle’s diesel tank and sparking a fire, adding that most of the victims were unable to escape the burning vehicle.

“There was a bridge in front and it (the bus) collided with it. After the collision, its diesel tank broke and spilled all over the vehicle. It caught fire and the vehicle tilted forward. In the fire that broke out, people did not get a chance to escape. Eight people escaped (from the bus), somehow managing to save their lives but unfortunately, 25 people have died and the deaths are more due to the fire than the accident because all the bodies are charred,” Superintendent of Police Sunil Kadasane. 

The state’s Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted separate tweets expressing sorrow and said they would pay support to each victim’s family, amounting to 700,000 Indian rupees ($8,500).