In a miserable incident, as many as 45 persons were killed when a private bus from Bangalore to Hyderabad caught fire at Palem village near Kothakota in Mahaboob Nagar district in Andhra Pradesh, after it hit a culvert on the national highway during early hours this morning.
Most of the passengers of the ill-fated bus are coming to their home towns for Dipawali festivities. Among those who were killed were five employees of IT giants like IBM and Google.
It was heart rending that some of the passengers charred to death in their seats and probably during sleep while several bodies were collected from the rear side of the bus.
The police inferred from the evidence collected from the spot that the passengers after realizing the trouble, might have tried to open the emergency window but could not do so due to pungent fumes from the burning air conditioners and exhaustion due to lack of oxygen.
The authorities are making arrangements for DNA tests for recognizing the bodies. Meanwhile, the police are questioning the private traveler as the multi axle bus did not have all the necessary certificates.
The driver has reportedly told the police that he hit a culvert while trying to over-take another vehicle and the blaze engulfed the entire bus within no time.
The bus belonged to Jabbar Travels, a well-known tour operator, with offices in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune.