Second bus catches fire in fortnight, 7 dead

BANGALORE (TIP): Seven people were charred and 43, including two African nationals, injured when a Mumbai-Bangalore Volvo bus operated by National Travels caught fire after an accident near Kunimullalli village in Haveri district, about 350 km from Bangalore, in the early hours of November 14. A Jabbar Travels Volvo had similarly gone up in flames on the Bangalore-Hyderabad route on October 30, killing 45 people. Like in the accident a fortnight ago, the National Travels bus hit a bridge before bursting into flames around 2.30 am on Thursday. Passengers who noticed a thick plume of smoke engulfing the unventilated main cabin of the bus soon after the accident helped break the glass windows with emergency equipment, preventing the casualties from mounting. Most passengers who died were in the front of the bus. Six of the injured are critical, while the remaining, including the Africans, were discharged after treatment at the Haveri district hospital. National Travels belongs to former Karnataka home and transport minister B Z Zamir Ahmed Khan, a JD(S) MLA. It announced Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the dead, while the Karnataka government will give Rs 1 lakh. “The bus crashed into a bridge. As a result, its fuel tank was damaged and it caught fire. Seven people, including three children, were charred,” Haveri Superintendent of Police N Shashikumar said. “The main driver (Muzbeer) fled after he noticed the fire. The back-up driver (Nayaz), who was sleeping, was charred,” said Haveri Deputy Commissioner of Police Panduranga B Naik. “But for that of the back-up driver none of the bodies is identifiable. The spare driver was from Bangalore, while the six passengers were from Mumbai.” All bodies have been shifted to KIMS Hospital for DNA-testing.

Mangala Express derails near Nashik; 4 feared dead
NASHIK/MUMBAI (TIP): Four passengers were feared killed and several others injured when ten coaches of a train derailed at Ghoti near Igatpuri in Nashik district on November 14 morning. The mishap took place at around 6.20am today when 12618 Nizamuddin-Ernakulam Mangala Express train was passing through the Ghoti-Igatpuri section near Nashik of the Central Railway, a Central Railway spokesperson said in Mumbai. The cause of the accident is not yet known, he said. According to rural police, four passengers were feared dead and several others injured in the derailment. The injured have been rushed to Ghoti, Kasara and Nashik civil hospitals, while rescue operations were in progress, police added. The Central Railway has set up a helpline for anxious relatives and kin of the passengers to enquire about them, the official said, adding that a medical relief van has already reached Ghoti.

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