As many as 45 passengers were charred to death as a private luxury bus went up in flames after its fuel tank caught fire when the vehicle hit a culvert in Mahbubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh early today with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy ordering a thorough probe into the mishap.
The Chief Minister, on a tour in Vishakhapatnam to take stock of the flood-affected areas, ordered a thorough probe into the mishap and directed the District Collectors and Superintendents of Police to submit the report within a day or two.
Mr Reddy expressed shock and anguish over the mishap and directed officials to provide all help to the injured and the families of the victims. He also asked the officials to ascertain the cause of the mishap.
State Minister for Transport Botcha Satyanarayana told reporters here that compensation would be announced after discussion with the Chief Minister and the government would spare no pains to ensure that such mishap did not recur.
Meanwhile, all the charred bodies have been retrieved from the bus, said Deputy Inspector General (Hyderabad Range) V Naveen Chand.
Autopsy had been done on some of the bodies on the spot and were sent to Osmania hospital for identification, Mr Chand added.
Altogether 52 people, including the driver and cleaner, were travelling by the Volvo bus when the mishap occurred.