Chitradurga bus blaze kills six

Mysterious bus fires continued to claim lives in Karnataka

Bengaluru: Mysterious bus fires continued to claim lives in Karnataka, with the latest incident charring six people to death in their sleep near Hiriyur in Chitra-durga district on Wednesday.

The sleeper coach of SPR Travels was heading to Davangere from Bengaluru when it caught fire after a technical snag around 2 am in Metikurke, 30 km from Chitradurga, when the passengers were fast asleep. The bodies were charred beyond recognition. The bus driver, Fayaz, who was absconding after the accident, was caught later by the police.

Twenty-nine passengers were in the bus at the time of the accident. Two of them were critically injured and were admitted to Chitradurga hospital, while five others were at S.S. Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre in Davangere.

The six passengers, who were burnt to death, were sleeping on the top row of the sleeper bus, while the remaining were on the row below. The fire was first noticed in the driver’s cabin. When he tried to take the vehicle off the road, it got trapped in a side-trench and the fire spread.

Gopal, a survivor, said he was sitting in the last row and noticed fire in the driver’s cabin. He tried to open the door, but it was jammed. He jumped out through the window and saved himself. In contrast, the driver said he noticed the fire at the back of the bus. “I jumped out of the bus and saved several passengers,” he said.

The bodies were sent to Hiriyur Taluk Govern-ment Hospital for autopsy.

( Source : dc correspondent )
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