India: at least 25 dead after the fire of an accident bus

At least 25 people have been killed and eight others injured after a crashed coach caught fire overnight from Friday June 30 to Saturday July 1 on a highway in the Indian state of Maharashtra. “There were between 30 and 35 people on the bus. Twenty-five people died and eight others were injured,” Baburao Mahamuni, a police official, told AFP. The coach was heading towards Pune city after midnight when it hit a pole and overturned, causing the tank to catch fire, it added.

Three children are among the dead, a police officer told reporters. The injured were taken to a hospital near the crash site which is about 400 kilometers east of India’s financial capital, Bombay. Accidents are common on India’s extensive road network, which is poorly maintained and notoriously dangerous.

Bus driver taken into custody

The police said they had opened an investigation into the circumstances of the tragedy. The bus driver, himself injured in the crash, has been detained for questioning along with the controller, Maharashtra’s rural development minister, Girish Mahajan, told reporters. According to him, the driver explained that a tire had exploded, “but it looks like he dozed off.” “We will have to see what exactly happened”he added.

“Deeply saddened by the appalling bus accident in Buldhana”Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reacted on Twitter. “My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who lost their lives. May the injured recover quickly.”

For his part, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Eknath Shinde, expressed his “deep sorrow” and offered compensation of 500,000 rupees (about 5,600 euros) to the families of the deceased.

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