40 Killed in  Bus Accident in Andhra Pradesh
(Representational Image)ANI

At least 22 people were killed and 15 others injured after a bus collided with a truck on the National Highway in the Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh early on Monday. Several of the injured are believed to be in a critical condition.

Both vehicles caught fire after the collision, which took place at around 2 am on Monday. The bus, which was carrying 41 passengers, was travelling from Anand Vihar in Delhi to Uttar Pradesh's Gonda district when the accident happened near the Bada Bypass. The driver of the bus died in the accident while the conductor suffered injuries. The truck driver is absconding.

Senior Superintendent of Police Jogendra Kumar told PTI, "The accident involving a bus of UPSRTC and a truck took place between 1 am and 1.30 am. Twenty-two passengers of the bus died, while 15 sustained injuries. Six passengers are critically injured and have been hospitalised."

"The truck and the bus both caught fire after the collision. Fire engines reached as soon as possible but the flames were so high that it took us a lot of effort to actually douse the flames and reach inside," SK Bhagat, a senior police officer, told reporters. 

The police and the fire brigade reached the spot after receiving information about the accident. The bodies were recovered four hours after the firefighters doused the flames. Many bodies are said to have been burnt beyond recognition. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences over those killed in the accident: "The bus accident in UP's Bareilly is heart-rending. I condole the loss of lives. I pray that those injured recover at the earlies," he said.

The prime minister's office announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh from the Prime Minister National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 compensation for those injured in the accident.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of those who were killed in the accident. An ex-gratia of Rs 50,000 has also been announced for those injured in the accident.