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Uttar Pradesh bus fire toll rises to 63

National, Wed, 10 Dec 2008 IANS

Agra, Dec 10 (IANS) The toll in Tuesday's bus accident in Firozabad district of Uttar Pradesh has risen to 63 with the recovery of more bodies of those who were burnt to death when the vehicle went up in flames, police said Wednesday.


The accident occurred at around 5 p.m. Tuesday in Shikohabad area of Firozabad, about 50 km from here. The bus was going from Mathura to Sultanpur. The passengers were apparently returning after a pilgrimage and all hailed from Sultanpur.



'The death of 63 people, including women and children, has been confirmed,' Firozabad District Magistrate Amit Gupta told IANS on phone. Till late Tuesday, 40 bodies had been recovered from the bus.



'According to initial information, witnesses said that the bus caught fire while it was running and overturned. Thirty-three passengers managed to escape and have received minor injuries,' city police chief Navneet Kumar said.



Most of the bodies recovered from the debris were turned to ashes and it was difficult for the rescue team and cops to identify them.



'A large number of skeletal remains were found stuck to the seats of the bus and we have gathered almost all of them. The remains have been sent to the government hospital for post-mortem,' a police official said, requesting anonymity.



The bus driver escaped unhurt and has been held.



'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,' the police official said.



'The axle of the bus broke down, causing the sparks that reached the diesel tank due to which it caught fire after the bus went without stopping for about two kilometres,' he added.



Uttar Pradesh Transport Minister Ram Achal Rajbhar Tuesday evening announced a compensation of Rs.100,000 to the families of each of those killed in the accident and Rs.50,000 for the injured.


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