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22 charred in UP road accident, ex-gratia announced

At least 22 passengers were charred to death in Uttar Pradesh on Monday after their bus caught fire following a massive collision with a truck on the national highway in Bareilly, police said on Monday.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for the injured.

State Finance Minister Rajesh Agarwal, the legislator from Bareilly, has rushed to the accident site on a state chopper to oversee the rescue and relief operations.

The accident occurred at around 2.30 a.m. near the Invertis University turn when the state-owned bus (UP-43-T5978) coming from New Delhi, with 41 persons on board, was heading towards Gonda. It collided head on with a speeding truck coming from the direction of Lucknow.

An explosion followed and fire broke out in the bus. A district official told IANS that the truck driver escaped.

Police officials said the death toll could rise as most of the passengers suffered severe burn injuries and their condition was critical.

Over a dozen fire tenders were rushed to the accident site to douse the inferno that claimed 22 lives on the spot.

Senior police officers, including Inspector General of Police S.K. Bhagat, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jogendra Kumar and other officials, are monitoring the rescue and relief operations.

Some injured were rushed to the nearby medical facilities.

Traffic has been diverted and efforts are underway to extract the charred remains of the passengers, police said.

The ill-fated Uttar Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) bus was headed to Gonda from New Delhi via Bareilly.

Bus driver Chandra Shekhar Shukla and conductor Akhtar Azeez Farooqui have also been injured and are undergoing treatment at a medical facility.

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