UTTAR PRADESH: Nine people were killed and over 10 others were injured after a roadways bus caught fire in the Peeparpur area near Amethi on Tuesday, police said.
The incident was reported on Tuesday morning when the UP State Roadways Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) bus on its way to Allahabad from Faizabad caught fire near the Ramgoa village, approximately 150 km from the state capital Lucknow.
While the lucky ones out of the 42 passengers on board managed to escape by smashing the window panes of the ill-fated bus that suddenly went up in flames and continued for about 100 metres before it came to a stop, others could not cope up with the stressful situation.
According to Heera Lal, Superintendent of Police, efforts are being made to identify the bodies of the victims that were charred beyond recognition in the blaze.
The injured were rushed to a hospital in Sultanpur and Pratapgarh. While there is no confirmation on the same, it is suspected that the fire was caused due to a short circuit in the engine.
However, Mukesh Mehsram, UPSRTC Managing Director stated that the real cause of the incident could only be ascertained after a thorough inquiry.
The Uttar Pradesh government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh each to the family of those killed in the incident and Rs. One lakh to those grievously injured and Rs 50,000 to those suffering from minor injuries.
Local MP and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi expressed profound grief over the accident and instructed party workers to provide all possible help to the injured, his representative Chandrakant Dubey informed.
Dubey further said that Rahul Gandhi who is currently occupied with the Parliament session might visit the area to meet the injured.
On the other hand, District Magistrate Amethi Jagatram Tiwari has ordered a magisterial query into the incident and the manager in charge for maintenance of buses at UPSRTC depot in Faizabad Santosh Kumar has been suspended.