Uttar Pradesh: Truck, bus catch fire after collision, 24 feared dead

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The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured. (Express Photo: Vishal Srivastav)

As many as 24 persons are feared dead as a double-decker bus and a truck caught fire after a head-on collision at Chhabaramau area of Kannauj district Friday, police said. A total of 21 persons who suffered injuries were rescued by local residents, they said. The private bus was ferrying passengers from Kannauj and Farrukhabad districts to Jaipur, police said.

Police suspect that the accident occurred when the truck driver lost control over the vehicle, leading to a collision with the bus. The truck driver and cleaner are missing, they said.

Chhabaramau Circle Officer Shiv Kumar said that around 8.45 pm they were informed that a bus carrying passengers to Jaipur had collided with a truck coming from the opposite direction at Gilohi locality, around 60 km from the district headquarters. Both vehicles caught fire after the collision, said Shiv Kumar.

Local residents reached the spot and rescued 21 persons from the bus. “The bus has just one door, so local residents broke open the windows to rescue passengers,” said Shiv Kumar.

A team from the district administration and police reached the spot. Kannauj District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar and Superintendent of Police, Kannauj AP Singh also reached the spot. Two fire tenders were pressed into service and the flames were yet to be doused till late evening. “We are trying to contact the bus owner to know how many persons were travelling in the bus,” said Shiv Kumar.

Chief Medical Superintendent Krishna Swaroop said of the total 21 injured persons, seven who suffered severe burns were referred to the district hospital for treatment.

Kannauj SP A P Singh said, “We have come to know around 45 persons, including the bus driver, were in the bus. Of these, 21 have been rescued. We have no information about the others. The bus was totally burnt.”

“The picture will be clear only after the fire is brought under control totally. There are several charred bodies inside the bus,” said Shiv Kumar. Taking cognizance of the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed the District Magistrate and Kannauj SP to go to the spot and provide all possible medical attention and help to the rescued passengers. The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured.