13 charred to death as bus catches fire in MP’s Guna; CM announces ex-gratia - Hindustan Times
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13 charred to death as bus catches fire in MP’s Guna; CM announces ex-gratia

Dec 28, 2023 05:48 PM IST

The bus collided head-on with the dumper truck in the valley of Duhai Temple. The collision was so strong that the bus caught fire, said Guna superintendent of police (SP) Vijay Khatri

At least 13 people were charred to death and 16 others injured on Wednesday night as the bus they were travelling in caught on fire after colliding with a dumper truck in Madhya Pradesh’s Guna district, said police.

 (Twitter/video screengrab)
(Twitter/video screengrab)

On Thursday, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Mohan Yadav expressed grief over the tragic incident and ordered the suspension of Guna Regional Transport Office (RTO) official Ravi Barelia and Guna municipal corporation officer VD Katroliya for their alleged negligence as the bus was running without RTO permission and insurance.

Yadav also met the families of victims and injured and announced ex-gratia of Rs.4 lakh each for the next kin of the deceased and Rs.50,000 to those injured.

Police said the bus number– MP 08 P 0199 was going from Guna to Aaron with 30-35 passengers on board.

The bus collided head-on with the dumper truck in the valley of Duhai Temple. The collision was so strong that the bus caught fire, Guna superintendent of police (SP) Vijay Khatri said.

Some passengers saved their lives by jumping off the bus, while others got trapped inside the bus and were burnt to death, said the SP. The bus driver and the dumper driver also died on the spot.

Upon receiving information, the police, fire department and State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) reached the spot and doused the fire.

Around 14 people were admitted to the Guna district hospital, and 11 people are reportedly dead, said Tarun Rathi, district collector. “The 11 badly burnt bodies were found in the bus, and two bodies were found outside. The bodies are yet to be identified. The DNA testing is being done before handing over the bodies to the families,” said Rathi.

An eyewitness and a farmer from Guna, Mukesh Dhakad, informed the police and helped save at least 15-16 people. “The bus caught fire within a few minutes of the collision. If there would have been any delay in rescue, nobody could have been saved,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences on deaths. “Under the supervision of the state government, the local administration is engaged in providing every possible help to the victims,” the PM posted on X.

Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia took stock of the situation and directed the Guna district administration to help the victims. “The news of fire in a passenger bus on Guna Aaron Road is saddening. As soon as the news of the incident was received, Guna Collector was discussed over telephone and instructions were given to start relief and rescue operations immediately,” he posted on X.

According to the officials, the bus was registered under one Bhanu Pratap Singh Sikarwar, brother of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vishwanath Sikarwar.

Meanwhile, the Congress leader MP demanded an inquiry saying a worn-out bus was allowed to run without permission. “It should be probed whether the bus was running illegally on road under the political pressure or not,” Congress spokesperson KK Mishra said.

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