Bareilly: Twenty four people were charred to death when a bus caught fire after colliding with a truck on National Highway 24 near Bareilly early on Monday.
At least 15 passengers were injured and rushed to nearby hospitals and six of them were said to be in critical condition.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh for families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to condole the loss of lives in the incident. He tweeted: The bus accident in UP’s Bareilly is heart-rending. I condole the loss of lives. I pray that those injured recover at the earliest.
He also announced the compensation of Rs 2 lakh from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the next of kin of those killed in the accident and Rs 50,000 for the injured.
The accident occurred at around 2.30 am near the Inverted University turn when the bus from New Delhi heading towards Gonda collided head on with a speeding truck coming from the direction of Lucknow. Sources said the collision caused the fuel tank of the Uttar Pradesh State Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) bus to burst, leading to the fire.
The bus driver was reportedly speeding through an under-construction section of the highway when the collision occurred. There was, however, no official confirmation on the cause of the accident.
Police officials said the death toll could rise as most of the passengers were severely burnt.
Fire tenders were rushed to the accident site. Local media reports, however, said it took more than an hour for fire services to reach the spot.
Senior police officers, including Inspector General of Police SK Bhagat, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jogendra Kumar and other officials were monitoring the rescue and relief operations.
“The accident involving a bus of UPSRTC and a truck took place between 1.00 am and 1.30 am. Twenty two passengers died, while 15 sustained injuries. Six passengers are critically injured and have been hospitalised,” Jogendra Kumar said.
Traffic was diverted and efforts were underway to extract the charred remains of the passengers.