|Sleeping passengers including two infants burned alive in Indian bus inferno, driver escapes
A speeding bus crashed into a highway barrier in southern India and erupted in flames early today, killing at least 45 passengers _ many of them burned alive in the inferno, officials said. Two infants, aged one-and-a-half and two years were among the dead, local media reports said.
(pictured, relatives of passengers outside the office of a private bus operator, Jabbar Travels in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh state, India).
The driver and five others managed to escape through a window, said Girija Shankar, a district official. The other passengers, apparently asleep at the time of the crash, were trapped inside.
The Times of India said five of the passengers who died were engineers of IBM and other software companies.
The privately operated bus was passing another vehicle when it crashed into the roadside barrier in Mehabubnagar in southern Andhra Pradesh state, said Deputy Inspector General of Police Naveen Kumar. The diesel tank then caught fire and engulfed the bus, according to a policeman.
Authorities are questioning the survivors.
India has the highest annual road death toll in the world, according to the World Health Organization. More than 110,000 people are killed every year in road accidents across India, according to police.
Most crashes are blamed on reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and aging vehicles.
The crash happened more than 1,200 kilometers from the Indian capital, New Delhi. –AP/The Standard