At least 45 killed as bus catches fire in Andhra Pradesh
At least 45 killed as bus catches fire in Andhra Pradesh ANI/Twitter

At least 40 people have reportedly been killed in a tragic accident involving a private Volvo bus on the Bangalore-Hyderabad national highway in the wee hours of Wednesday (30 October).

The luxury bus, reportedly carrying 52 persons on board, started late in the evening from Bangalore and was going to Hyderabad. The incident happened when the bus was driving through Mahbubnagar in Andhra Pradesh, which is about 150 km from Hyderabad, reported NDTV.

The bus was reportedly trying to overtake a vehicle at high speed and hit a culvert and caught fire at Kothakota in Mahbubnagar district. "The diesel tank got burst and flames erupted. Before the passengers could realise what had happened, the blaze engulfed the entire bus," The Hindu quoted residents of the village.

Most of the passengers, who were going home for Diwali, were reportedly sleeping when the incident happened. As many as 40 passengers have been killed, while five passengers including the bus driver and the cleaner were able to escape by breaking the glass windows of the bus. The injured passengers were shifted to a government hospital at Wanaparthy in Mahabubnagar district, where they are undergoing treatment.

Senior police officials and revenue officials have rushed to the spot to inspect the relief operations.

The accident has caused a massive traffic jam on the Hyderabad-Bangalore route.

The Volvo bus reportedly belongs to Jabbar Travels, a popular tour operator based in Hyderabad.