10 feared killed as bus catches fire in Bihar’s Purnia
At least one passenger was charred to death and 14 others were injured on Monday when the luxury coach in which they were travelling in caught fire after hitting a divider on road in Bihar’s Purnia, officials said.
A police team led by Purnia’s superintendent of police (SP) Vishal Sharma, who went to the site soon after the accident, rushed 14 passengers to the district hospital.
The charred body of woman passenger was later identified as Babita Devi of Begusarai.
Sharma released the list of 14 injured which named Shyam Kishor Singh, Nishu Kumari, Rina Devi, Shubham Kumar, Jay Ram Pandit, Anisha Chaudhary, Prashant Pandey, Md Jiyauddin, Shabana Khatun, Sahabuddin, Faizan (8), Prem Kumar Das, Santosh Kamti and Shweta Singh.
The senior police official said one seriously injured passenger Shweta Singh was referred to a hospital in Bhagalpur.
The accident happened at the Purnia Bus Stand under Khazanchi Haat (Town police station) police station at around 3am on Monday. The luxury coach ‘Nyaya Rath’ was coming from Muzaffarpur and was bound to Siliguri when it hit the divider at Purnia Bus Stand allegedly while overtaking a truck and caught fire.
“An SDRF team went inside the bus and didn’t find any trace of the charred body except the one. It could have been a major accident but luckily all safe except one death,” Sharma said.
Survivors, however, claimed that at least 10 people were killed in the accident. They said there were at least 50 passengers on the bus when the accident took place.
Sharma said the bus owner in Muzaffarpur said that “27 to 30 passengers had boarded on a bus in Muzaffarpur”.
“The driver who was in touch with the owner after the accident confirmed that most of the passengers had come out of the bus by breaking the glass of the windows of the bus,” the SP said.
The driver allegedly told his owner that several passengers had got off the bus at Naugachhia in Bhagalpur and Maranga in Purnia. The SP said the driver switched off his mobile phone after the accident.
“We will lodge an FIR against the driver and probe will be conducted to ascertain the cause of the accident,” Sharma said.