Woman From Odisha Charred To Death As Bus Catches Fire In Bengal
Bhubaneswar: A passenger from Odisha died as the bus in which she was travelling from Kolkata to Paradip caught fire on NH 16, near Madhapur in Kharagpur, on Friday night.
The deceased has been identified as Pushpanjali Das, a resident of Nolia village under Marshaghai police limits in Kendrapara district. Another 25 passengers were injured in the mishap.
According to reports, the bus was en route to Paradip from Babughat area in Kolkata. Of 39 passengers, 31 were from Odisha, including 16 from Kendrapada, two from Paradip and seven from Jajpur. Pushpanjali (34) was travelling along with her husband Rajendra Das, who works in Kolkata, and their daughter (11) and son (7) in the ill-fated bus to their village in Odisha for Diwali festival. The family boarded the bus in Kolkata between 7 pm and 7.30 pm and the fire broke out in the driver’s cabin between 9 pm and 10 pm and soon engulfed the entire bus reducing it to ashes in a span of a few minutes.
Some passengers got out of the bus breaking the window panes. Pushpanjali asked her husband to alight from the bus first. He managed to get out with their daughter. Later, she handed over her son to husband through the window. She, however, was charred to death while trying to save an elderly couple, reports added.
The driver and the helper of the bus fled the spot immediately after the vehicle caught fire.
“This is an unfortunate and unprecedented incident. One person died due to burn injuries and several others were injured. Our SP came on the spot along with his force. Fire brigades rushed to the spot, and the fire was controlled,” West Bengal Minister Manas Ranjan Bhunia told ANI.
Though the cause of fire is yet to be ascertained, preliminary investigation revealed that the bus was carrying explosive materials. The bus was scheduled to reach Paradip at 5 am on Saturday.
“A doctor’s team and an ALS ambulance have been sent there. The ambulance will help bring injured passengers to FM Medical College and Hospital if needed. There are 36 passengers who have sustained injuries in the mishap; out of them, 25 are from Odisha. We are bringing them back to Odisha,” Balasore collector Dattatraya Bhausahab Shinde said.