Nashik bus tragedy toll rises to 13; Prez, VP, PM express grief

Nashik, Oct 8 (IANS) The death toll in the ghastly bus accident in Nashik climbed to 13 with three more victims succumbing to their injuries, while another 27 are under treatment in different hospitals, officials said here on Saturday.
President Droupadi Murmu, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Maharshtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis have expressed grief over the early morning tragedy, which shocked the entire state.
According to officials, at around 5 am on Saturday, a Mumbai-bound private passenger sleeper coach of Chintamani Travels rammed into a Nashik-bound speeding oil tanker on the Aurangabad Road on the outskirts of Nashik.
The luxury passenger bus was travelling from Yavatmal to Mumbai, while the tanker was going from Pune to Nashik when the disaster struck both the vehicles.
The impact of the crash was so severe that the bus burst into flames, trapping many of the passengers who were sleeping at that early hour.
Among the injured, the condition of some is stated to be critical, as most have suffered severe burns in the blazing inferno.
Locals said that the intensity of the fire prevented them from going near the bus to help the victims trapped inside, adding that the bus was completely gutted before their eyes.
Shinde, who rushed to Nashik on Saturday afternoon, ordered a comprehensive probe into the tragic incident, and also visited some of the victims undergoing treatment in local and district hospitals.
The Prime Minister has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of the deceased persons, and Rs 50,000 each to the injured, while Shinde said that Rs 5 lakh each will be given to the families of the dead while the state will bear the full treatment expenses at public or private hospitals for the injured.
Shinde told the mediapersons that he has also ordered officials to identify the accident-prone spots in and around Nashik and take preventive measures to curb such recurring mishaps.
The spokespersons of Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and Shiv Sena, along with Shinde group’s ministers have also condoled the tragic accident and demanded an in-depth probe into the matter.

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