At least 25 people died and eight others were injured after the bus they were traveling in caught fire on an expressway in India’s western state of Maharashtra on Saturday, police said.
A tire mishap caused the driver to lose control and hit a road divider, with the the bus overturning and its diesel tank catching fire, senior police officer Baburao Mahamuni told the AFP news agency.
The incident took place around 1:30 am local time (GMT 2030) on a highway in the Buldhana district of Maharashtra state.
“There were about 30-35 people in the bus. Twenty-five people have died and eight others are injured,” Mahamuni said.
The survivors have been admitted to a hospital close to the site of the accident.
Bus driver in custody
The police have started investigating the crash. “The priority at this moment is to identify the bodies and hand them over to their family members,” local media quoted police superintendent Sunil Kadasane as saying.
“The bus driver and conductor have been taken into custody by police,” Maharashtra minister Girish Mahajan told Indian news agency ANI.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra’s chief minister Eknath Shinde expressed condolences for the victims and their families.
Deeply saddened by the devastating bus mishap in Buldhana, Maharashtra. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives. May the injured recover soon. The local administration is providing all possible assistance to the affected: PM @narendramodi
Shinde has pledged compensation of 500,000 rupees ($6,100, €5,600) to the families of those who died in the accident.