At least 22 people were charred to death and several others were injured when a passenger bus caught fire after colliding with a truck on National Highway 24 in Bareilly at around 1am on Monday.
The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals. Most of them are said to be in a critical state.
The bus belongs to Uttar Pradesh State Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) and was heading from New Delhi to Gonda depot in central Uttar Pradesh.
The accident occurred on an under-construction stretch of the highway between Bareilly and Shahjahanpur. The bus driver was reportedly speeding past a junction leading to the collision.
According to witnesses, the bus caught fire moments after colliding with truck giving no time for passengers to evacuate. Most passengers were asleep when the accident occurred, while some managed to escape through the windows.
“We have recovered charred remains of around 10 passengers and our teams are trying to locate others,” said senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Bareilly Joginder Kumar. “At least 20 other passengers who managed to escape have been admitted to a hospital,” he added.
Officials have not yet confirmed the number of passengers aboard the bus at the time of the accident.
Narendra Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 for the injured, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) tweeted.
The money will be sourced from the prime minister’s national relief fund (PMNRF).
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath also announced a compensation of Rs 50000 for the kin of the dead and Rs 25000 for those injured.
He has also rushed his ministerial colleague Rajesh Agarwal to Bareilly to help in relief and rescue. Agarwal is a lawmaker from Bareilly.