At least 25 dead after bus crash and fire in western India

Bus lost control and hit road divider before bursting into flames following a tyre blowout, police told local media.

A tyre blowout caused a bus to lose control and crash into a road divider before bursting into flames, killing at least 25 people in western India, police told local media.

Police officer Sunil Kadasne told the Press Trust of India news agency that 33 people were on the bus when the crash occurred around 1:30am (20:00 GMT) on Saturday morning on a highway in the Buldhana district of Maharashtra state. Eight survivors were taken to a hospital, he said.

The bus was travelling from Nagpur to Pune on Samruddhi Mahamarg expressway when it crashed and its fuel tank caught fire, local police told Reuters TV partner ANI.

The majority of deaths were caused due to burning, police said.

Twenty-five people were killed and eight were injured, Maharashtra’s deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said in a post on Twitter.

Maharashtra state’s Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted separate tweets expressing sorrow, and said they would pay support to each victim’s family, amounting to 700,000 Indian rupees ($8,500).“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives. May the injured recover soon,” Modi wrote in a tweet.Deadly road accidents are common in India, often due to reckless driving, poorly maintained roads and ageing vehicles. More than 110,000 people are killed every year in road accidents across India, according to police.