One burnt to death in bus-truck collision in Delhi (Lead)

March 8th, 2009 - 10:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) A man was killed and 21 people suffered injuries Sunday when a speeding Blueline bus caught fire after a head-on collision with a loaded dumper-truck in the heart of the capital, the police said.
The Blueline bus, operating on route number 502 between Old Delhi Railway Station and Mehrauli, collided with the dumper-truck on the Tilak Marg near the Supreme Court around 5.15 a.m.

The police said the impact of the collision was so severe that the bus, running on compressed natural gas (CNG), immediately caught fire and the dumper was overturned. One passenger was burnt to death and could not be identified till late evening. “His body has been charred beyond recognition,” said a police officer.

Two fire-fighting engines doused the fire before it could spread to the nearby residential blocks.

There were 40 passengers in the bus. The 21 injured, including at least eight women, were admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital.

“We tried to escape from the windows and doors of the bus as it caught fire immediately after the accident,” said Raj Kumar, who was injured.

The injured passengers said in their statement to the police that the bus, which started its routine trip from the Old Delhi railway station, was crowded and many passengers were going to attend a religious function in a temple in south Delhi’s Chhattarpur.

“Many of the injured were going to attend the religious function. Some of them are from Punjab and other states,” said the police officer.

The police said the driver of the dumper-truck fled from the scene, while Blueline bus driver Pappu, 35, was trapped in his seat and suffered serious injuries on both legs and was recuperating in the hospital.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Shankar Das said a case has been registered and investigations are on.

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