Eleven people were killed and many more injured when a passenger lit a cigarette causing an LPG cylinder to burst inside a bus near Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, police officials said on Tuesday.
Almost everyone inside the bus going from Khurja to Jahangirabad suffered burn injuries in the incident that happened 108 km from Delhi on Monday, and the death toll was likely to go up, officials added.
“Until Tuesday evening, death toll has risen to 11, including women and minor children. In the absence of proper burn treatment facilities at Bulandshahr, they are presently under treatment in different hospitals in Delhi,” said Bulandshahr senior superintendent of police Akhilesh Kumar.
Authorities rushed more than 50 severely injured people to Delhi’s Lok Nayak hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia hospital and Safdarjung hospital in Delhi and to Meerut Medical College and Bulandshahr district hospital for treatment late Monday.
Officials said the explosion occurred because of the cigarette’s flame coming into contact with the gas leaking from the cylinder and have roped in forensic teams to rule out foul play.
“While there was a leakage, someone lit a cigarette and it led to fire and explosion inside the vehicle. We have also recovered the ripped out LPG cylinder that caused the incident,” Kumar added.
Local residents from the area helped police look for the victims’ belongings in the fields near the site.
Local residents from the area, who helped police look for the victims’ belongings in the fields nearby, described the horrific sight.
“They were all running out and screaming for water around 200 metre of the incident site. Police arrived nearly 20-25 minutes after they were informed,” said Rajiv Kumar Singh, a local resident.