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40 killed as bus catches fire in Uttar Pradesh

National, Wed, 10 Dec 2008 IANS

Lucknow, Dec 9 (IANS) At least 40 people were burnt to death Tuesday when the bus they were travelling in went up in flames in Uttar Pradesh's Firozabad district, the police said.


The accident occurred at around 5 p.m. in Shikohabad area of Firozabad, about 300 km from here. The bus was going from Mathura to Sultanpur. The passengers were apparently returning after a pilgrimage and all hailed from Sultanpur, an official said.



'About 40 people have died in the accident,' said District Magistrate Amit Gupta.



'According to initial information, witnesses said that the bus caught fire while it was running and overturned,' city police chief Navneet Kumar told IANS.



'Thirty-three passengers managed to escape and have received minor injuries,' Kumar added.



According to witnesses, there were around 70 people inside the bus and 15 were travelling on top of the vehicle.



The bus driver escaped unhurt, and has been held, an official said.



'The driver is being questioned about the cause of the accident. Witnesses noticed huge sparks from the rear side of the bus before it caught fire,' he said.



'The axle of the bus must have broken, causing the sparks that reached the diesel tank due to which it caught fire,' the official added.


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