Diesel leak led to bus fire, killing 44

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Video Discription: Originally published on October 5, 2013

More than 40 people were killed when a bus exploded after its gas tank was damaged in southern India early Wednesday morning.

The private Volvo bus departed from Bangalore and was headed for Hyderabad when the accident took place at 5:00 a.m. at Kothakota, around 130 km from the bus's destination.

While passing another vehicle, the speeding bus driver rammed into barriers on the highway and damaged the vehicle's fuel tank. Leaking diesel fuel caught fire, leading to a blaze that engulfed the bus and reduced it to scrap in less than 10 minutes, according to witnesses quoted in a Global Times report.

Five passengers, including the bus driver, escaped the bus through a broken window before the fuel tank exploded. Most of the remaining passengers were asleep and did not have sufficient time to escape the fire. The victims' bodies were burned beyond recognition.

Children were among the 51 passengers on the bus, many of whom were traveling home for the Diwali festival in November.

"Our team has already landed at the accident spot, and we are still in the process of gathering all the relevant information," Sohanjeet Randhawa, head of marketing for Volvo Buses India, said in a Global Times report.

The survivors tried to flee the scene but were taken into custody by the police.

According to police, more than 110,000 people are killed each year in automobile crashes in India. Many of the accidents are caused by reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and vehicles in poor condition.


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