At least 46 persons are feared dead when a private bus coming from Bangalore to Hyderabad caught fire at Kothakota in Mahbubnagar district, 140 km from Hyderabad, after it hit a road divider in the early hours of Wednesday.
The volvo bus belonging to Jabbar Travels based in Hyderabad, with reportedly 51 passengers on board, was going from Bangalore to Hyderabad.
It hit a road median when it reached Juverla village in Kothakota mandal on Bangalore-Hyderabad highway around 5 a.m. “The diesel tank got burst and flames erupted. Before the passengers could realise what had happened, the blaze engulfed the entire bus,” residents of the village were quoted as saying.
While five persons, including driver and cleaner of the bus, managed to escape, though with burns, the remaining passengers got trapped and were burnt alive. There were nearly 51 passengers in the bus. Most of the victims are believed to be from Andhra Pradesh.
The injured were shifted to Government hospital at Wanaparthy. They were being shifted to Apollo hospital in Hyderabad. The accident resulted in a massive traffic jam on the Hyderabad-Bangalore for kilometres on either side of Kothakota.
Senior police and revenue officials have rushed to the spot and are supervising the relief operations.
The Mahabubnagar district police in Andhra Pradesh have opened a helpline to provide information about the mishap.
Following are the helpline numbers: 9494600100, 08542-245927, 245930, 245932.