Eight killed in western India bus fire

Mumbai map

At least eight people have been killed after the bus they were travelling in caught fire in India's western state of Maharashtra, media reports say.

The bus was travelling from Pune city in Maharashtra to Ahmedabad in Gujarat state when it collided with a truck on a highway early on Wednesday.

Fourteen people were injured in the accident.

Bus crashes are common in India and often caused by poorly-maintained vehicles, overloading and bad driving.

Traffic was halted for a few hours after Wednesday morning's crash near Manor, some 90km (55 miles) from the city of Mumbai.

A local police official told the BBC that the luxury bus crashed into a truck carrying gas cylinders and then caught fire.

The dead included the driver of the bus, he said, adding that 11 passengers had been admitted to a local hospital.

Last October at least 42 people died after the luxury bus they were travelling in caught fire in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Police say a collision with a culvert ignited the fuel tank of the vehicle.

In 2008, more than 60 people died in a bus fire in northern Uttar Pradesh state. The fire started when part of a faulty axle dropped on to the road and ruptured the bus's fuel tank.

Nearly 140,000 people died in road accidents in India in 2012, according to the government's National Crime Records Bureau.

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