Kannauj: At least 10 people died and several others received serious burn injuries when a private sleeper double-decker bus burst into flames after colliding with a truck in Uttar Pradesh's Kannauj district, an official said on Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi have expressed condolences to the families of those who died in the accident.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured. He has also sought a report from the district magistrate about the incident.
There were 45 passengers, including three staff, in the bus that was going to Jaipur from Farrukhabad when the accident occurred on the Grand Trunk Road near Chhibramau on Friday night, the police had said.
Charred bodies of 10 people have been recovered from the completely-damaged bus, District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar said, adding one of the bodies has been identified as Rinku Yadav (32), the driver of the truck which collided with the bus.
IG Kanpur Mohit Agarwal said both the bus and the truck caught fire after the collision and exact death toll can be established only after DNA tests.
Soon after the incident, the locals rushed to the spot and rescued many passengers by breaking the window panes. The injured were undergoing treatment at the Tirwa Medical college hospital and the district hospital, the IG said.
SP Amrendra Pratap Singh had said that around 20 people were feared to have lost their lives in the incident.
State police chief O P Singh had said a diesel tank apparently exploded under the impact of the collision and the bus burst into flames.
It took three to four fire engines about 30 to 40 minutes to douse the flames.
A passenger of the ill-fated bus undergoing treatment at the Saushaiyya hospital in Chhibramau claimed that the bus had around 60 passengers at the time of the accident.
At the Tirwa medical college hospital the injured are still in a state of shock.
One of the passengers undergoing treatment at the hospital said that after the collision she lost consciousness and was not aware as to who brought her and others to hospital. Another passenger said they were dragged out of the burning bus.
A report from Farrukhabad stated that five members of a family from Kamalganj, who had boarded the ill-fated bus are missing.
State's Excise Minister Ram Naresh Agnihotri, who rushed to the district on the direction of the chief minister, met senior officials and also inspected the accident site. He met the injured undergoing treatment and handed over Rs 50,000 cheque to each of the nine injured admitted in Saushaiya hospital.
State Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu too met the injured in the hospital and assured them of full support.
UPSRTC MD Raj Shekhar has directed senior officials of his department to reach the spot and to apprise him about the incident after which necessary action will be taken.