Nashik (PTI): At least 11 persons were killed and 38 others injured as a private bus traveling to Mumbai caught fire after hitting a trailer truck in Nashik city of Maharashtra early on Saturday, officials said.

The accident took place at Nandur Naka on Nashik-Aurangabad highway around 5.15 am when the 'sleeper' bus was coming from Yavatmal in eastern Maharashtra, they said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the bus tragedy and said ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh would be given to the next of kin of each deceased and the injured would be given Rs 50,000 each.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to the families of the dead and said the medical expenses of the injured would be borne by the state government.

"A luxury bus traveling to Mumbai from Yavatmal hit a trailer truck going to Pune at an intersection near Mirchi Hotel on Nashik-Aurangabad highway. Soon after ramming into the truck, the bus caught fire in which 11 passengers died," Nashik Police Commissioner Jayant Naiknavare said.

The injured persons were admitted to the District Civil Hospital and another private medical facility in Nashik, he said.

Before catching fire, the bus also hit a mini cargo van, due to which it got overturned, the commissioner added.

Another police official said 38 persons were injured in the incident.

On being alerted, the police, fire brigade, and other agencies reached the spot and launched a rescue operation and the fire was doused off. However, the bus was completely gutted in the incident, he said.

Some eyewitnesses said the fire was so intense that they could not do anything to save the passengers for some time and had to stand there helplessly.

The death toll in the accident may go up as the condition of some of the injured persons is serious, the officials added.

In a tweet, PM Modi said, "Anguished by the bus tragedy in Nashik. My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones in this mishap. May the injured recover at the earliest. The local administration is providing all possible assistance to those affected."

"An ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of each of the deceased due to the bus fire in Nashik. The injured would be given Rs. 50,000," he added.

 

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Mangaluru: The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has appointed Anwar Manila as the social media committee coordinator of the Dakshina Kannada District Non-Resident Indian (NRI) cell of the KPCC. The appointments were made through an order issued by KPCC President DK Shivakumar on Saturday.

In addition, the party has also appointed Vice President of non-resident Indians forum and All India Congress Committee’s Indian Overseas Congress (IOC) secretary in-charge Dr. Arati Krishna as the chairperson of the KPCC NRI Cell.

Anwar, a non-resident Kannadiga residing in Dubai for the past 18 years, has been an active member of the Congress party for a decade, particularly within its social media unit. He is also serving as the member of the social media unit of INCAS. In 2019, he served as a member of the publicity committee for the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, attended by former AICC president Rahul Gandhi in the UAE.

Alongside, Anwar has also been actively serving in social, religious and educational fields and is also recognised by several non-resident Kannadiga organisations.