12 charred to death as bus catches fire after colliding with truck in Nashik – The Indian Express

Twelve people, including a three-year-old girl, were killed and 41 others sustained injuries when the bus they were travelling in caught fire in Nashik after colliding with a dumper truck carrying coal early Saturday.
Eight of the deceased have been identified so far, as the other bodies were charred beyond recognition, said police. The injured passengers, who sustained mostly fractures in hands and legs, were admitted to various hospitals in Nashik. A case was registered by Adgaon police station against both the drivers of the truck and the bus. The bus owned by Chintamani Travels was heading from Yavatmal to Mumbai. It had left Yavatmal city on Friday afternoon. Around 5.15 am, the bus reportedly collided with the dumper truck at Nandur Naka on Nashik-Aurangabad highway.
Most of the passengers were said to have been sleeping on the bunk beds – a common feature on the inter-district buses that travel long distances.
The police said that as per preliminary findings, the impact of the collision was so strong that the bus’ direction changed. Speaking to The Indian Express, Nashik Municipal Commissioner Chandrakant Pulkundwar said, “Due to the impact, the diesel tank of the truck burst, leading to a fire, which spread fast. We don’t know exactly what happened, which the police are investigating.
The truck’s driver is absconding.” While many escaped by breaking the emergency doors and windows, 10 men, one woman and the three-year-old girl were charred to death inside the bus.
Dipak Bajrang Shinde, the second driver of the bus who was sleeping in a cabinet above the driver’s seat, said that within a few seconds, the fire spread to the back of the bus, which further blocked the exit gate. “I think, due to the collision, the diesel that leaked on the road caught fire, which gradually resulted in the bus catching fire from behind,” he added.
Though the bus had a seating capacity of 30, it was carrying 53 passengers. Most of the extra passengers were sleeping on the floor, said police. Due to the overcrowding, the passengers had to struggle to find their way out of the bus. “The extra passengers were asked to sit near the driver’s cabinet. At night, they were instructed to sleep on the floor. Otherwise, the casualties would have been higher,” said Shinde.
नाशिक- नांदूरनाका येथे खाजगी बसच्या भीषण अपघातात ११ प्रवाशांचा मृत्यू झाला असून या दुर्घटनेबद्दल मुख्यमंत्री @mieknathshinde यांनी तीव्र दुःख व्यक्त केले आहे. या दुर्दैवी घटनेतील मृतांच्या नातेवाईकांना ५ लाख रुपयांची मदत शासनाच्या वतीने जाहीर करण्यात आली आहे. #Nashik
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) October 8, 2022
The postmortem examinations were conducted at the Nashik district hospital. A source from the hospital said, “Eleven of the deceased died due to burns. But one teenager, Sahil Jeetendra Chandrashekhar, died due to external injuries. The teen sustained injuries in his stomach… even before he could sustain burns.”
Till evening, eight deceased – Ajay Kuchankar (16), Uddhav Bhilang (44), Laxmibai Mudholkar (50), Kalyani Mudholkar (3), Sahil Jeetendra Chandrashekhar (16), Bhaibhav Aman Billan (23), Bhramdath Mahawar (40) and Ashok Bhanshod (55) – could be identified. To identify the rest, DNA tests would be conducted on the charred bodies, said police.
Inspector Vijay Gamal said, “The faces of Kalyani and Ajay could be recognised. Laxmibai was identified with the help of her silver bangles.”
In all, 31 passengers were rushed to Nashik’s government-run district hospital. Among them, six were children. Another eight injured were taken to private hospitals. The remaining two were discharged from hospital.
The passengers complained that the fire brigade took around 20 minutes to reach the spot. Till then, local residents came to their rescue.
Sachin Jadhav, a resident of Thane’s Badlapur, said, “By the time the ambulances and fire brigade came, the other passengers were already charred to death.”
नाशिक (महाराष्ट्र) येथील रस्ता अपघात हृदय पिळवटून टाकणारा आहे. या भीषण अपघातात ज्यांनी आपला जीव गमावला त्यांच्या कुटुंबियांप्रती मी माझ्या संवेदना व्यक्त करतो आणि जे जखमी आहेत, ते लवकरात लवकर बरे होवो अशी मी प्रार्थना करतो.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) October 8, 2022
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from the PM’s National Relief Fund for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
Guardian Minister of Nashik, Dada Bhuse, announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of the deceased. “The compensation has been announced by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. I am reaching to the spot to assess the situation and provide help,” he added.
Speaking to the media, the CM said, “This is an unfortunate incident. I am in contact with the officials in Nashik. All necessary assistance is being provided.”
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Rupsa ChakrabortyRupsa Chakraborty, is a special correspondent with The Indian Express'… read more

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