12 dead, 43 injured as bus catches fire after hitting truck in Nashik

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Charred remains of a bus after it hit a truck and caught fire on Aurangabad Road in Nashik district. Photo: PTI

Nashik:Twelve passengers, including a two-year-old child, were killed and 43 others injured as a private bus travelling to Mumbai caught fire after hitting a trailer truck in Nashik city of Maharashtra early on Saturday, police officials said.

The accident took place at Nandur Naka on Nashik-Aurangabad highway around 5.15 am when the sleeper bus was coming from Yavatmal in eastern Maharashtra, they said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the bus tragedy and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 each for the injured.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced a financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the dead and said the medical expenses of the injured would be borne by the state government. The CM visited the spot and the District Civil Hospital, where most of the patients were admitted. He said a detailed inquiry into the accident will be carried out.

"A luxury bus travelling to Mumbai from Yavatmal hit a trailer truck going to Pune at an intersection near Mirchi Hotel on Nashik-Aurangabad highway. Soon after ramming into the truck, the bus caught fire in which 12 passengers died and 43 others suffered injuries," a police official said.

The deceased included a two-year-old child, he said, adding that the bus was completely destroyed in the incident.

The injured persons were admitted to the District Civil Hospital and some private medical facilities in Nashik, city Police Commissioner Jayant Naiknavare said.

Before catching fire, the bus also hit a mini cargo van, due to which the latter got overturned, he added.

On being alerted, the police, fire brigade and other agencies reached the spot and launched a rescue operation and the fire was doused off. However, the bus was completely gutted in the incident, the official said.

Some eyewitnesses said the fire was so intense that they could not do anything to save the passengers for some time and had to stand there helplessly.

In a tweet, PM Modi said, "Anguished by the bus tragedy in Nashik. My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones in this mishap. May the injured recover at the earliest. The local administration is providing all possible assistance to those affected."

"An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each of the deceased due to the bus fire in Nashik. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000," he added.

During his visit to the spot around 1 pm, CM Shinde said, "A detailed inquiry into the accident will be conducted and action will be taken based on its report."


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