Haveri: Seven people were killed and 40 others injured after a bus enroute to Mumbai from Bangalore caught fire in Haveri district of Karnataka on Thursday morning. A toddler is amongst those who have been killed and three of the injured are very critical.
At least 48 passengers were on board when the bus caught fire after hitting a road median in Haveri early on Thursday at around 3:20 am. It was on National Highway 4 at Kunimelli bridge, about 14 kms from Haveri, when the incident took place.
The injured have been taken to the hospital. Most of the people jumped out of the bus after they saw that it was on fire. The driver of the bus is absconding.
The bus, which is a volvo, is owned by Shakeel Ahmad Khan of the National Travels. "I got a call around 4 in morning. The manager said that an accident had happened. After that we are not able to contact the driver," said Khan.
Khan did not say if the driver was to be blamed as he could not be contacted. He added that the driver was a trained one and got the certificates. "Yes, it's all clear that whatever protection a volvo bus should have, we do that," he said.
"The bus had hit the culvert of the Vardha river and it dragged itself for 100 meters spilling diesel. The bus turned over and rear engine got uprooted and caught fire," said Karnataka IG Bhaskar Rao.
The bodies of the victims are yet to be identified, Haveri SP Shashi Kumar said.
Police said the seriously injured passengers were admitted to hospital in Hubli, and those with minor injuries are being treated at Haveri district hospital.
The tragedy comes two weeks after 45 people had died when a Volvo bus from Bangalore to Hyderabad had caught fire after hitting the median on the national highway in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh.
Karnataka Bus Accident Helpline Number: 0837 5237368, 0837 5232143