Five passengers were charred to death when a private bus caught fire near Talegaon in Wardha district on Thursday morning.
According to Superintendent of Police Anil Paraskar, the incident occurred around 5 am when most of the 30 passengers in the Jalgaon-Nagpur bus run by Baba Travels of Nagpur were asleep.
Some of the passengers noticed the fire in the middle part of the bus and asked the driver to stop. The driver immediately applied brakes but before all passengers could disembark safely, the fire had engulfed the entire bus,” Paraskar said.
Two women, a 9-month old boy and two men died in the tragedy while many were injured.
“A man who got down the bus in the melee said his wife and child were still inside the bus. But we haven’t been able to identify the bodies yet,” Paraskar said.
Sunil Paul, a resident of Varanasi, apparently lost his wife Shweta and son in the mishap.
“The injured were rushed to various places for treatment in the vehicles that stopped by to help,” Paraskar said, adding, “none of them is serious.”
Asked about the possible reason behind the fire, Paraskar said, “we are not yet sure how it was ignited. All systems in the bus, including air-conditioning, seemed to be functioning well.”