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‘Door was shut, didn’t see how the fire started’: Survivors narrate their ordeal after bus with pilgrims returning from Mathura, Vrindavan engulfed in flames in Haryana’s Nuh, ten died & several injured

When local bikers saw the running bus on fire, they asked the driver to stop, but he didn't and accelerated. Later seeing the fire, he stopped and jumped out

Ten pilgrims have lost their lives while several others have suffered burn injuries after a bus carrying 64 devotees engulfed in fire near Tauru in Haryana’s Nuh district on Saturday (18th May). The devotees were returning from a pilgrimage to Mathura and Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. The incident came to light at around 2 am on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway. The injured persons have been admitted to Nuh Medical College. 

The devotees included women and children and all of them are said to be residents of Punjab and Chandigarh. Some of the locals had noticed that the running vehicle was on fire and after chasing the bus, they asked the driver to stop the bus. According to the information received, the driver didn’t initially stop the bus. Later, after realising that the bus was on fire, he smashed the window and jumped out of it. When the bikers asked him why didn’t he stop the bus, he said he thought that the bikers were robbers and accelerated the bus. Nonetheless, the locals also informed the police and the fire department. 

After the Fire department doused the flames and rescue operations were completed, several survivors narrated their ordeals and expressed that they couldn’t believe that they came out alive.

Narrating the incident, one of the survivors said, “We started running towards the door but the door was locked from outside then all decided to jump out of the window to save themselves. Around 64 passengers were onboard the bus. We have not been able to know the whereabouts of our family members.” 

Another survivor said, “We were coming from Vrindavan, we did not know how the fire started. Bikers told us that the bus was on fire. The driver fled after smashing the window and jumping out of it. The one who saved us died inside the bus. 10 of our people have died while many have suffered burn injuries.”

Forty-four-year-old Krishna Kumari has sustained 20% burns and is undergoing treatment at Nalhar Medical College in Nuh. She said that she still cannot believe that she is alive. 

Another survivor, Meera Rani (52) said that the main door of the bus was automatic and it remained jammed. She added, “We entered the driver’s cabin and jumped out of the window. Nothing was visible and we were unaware of how the bus caught fire.” 

Several passersby and survivors have lauded the efforts of a few devotees who were onboard the bus and risked, gave their lives to save others. According to the survivors, the narrow path of the AC bus was affecting the rescue operation.

Rakesh Sharma, who lost his young son, wife, and 10-year-old Dhewati Jovita aka Khushi, kept informing the police administration about the incident and after they arrived at the spot, he cried inconsolably. His granddaughter was screaming and pleading for help but despite every possible effort to save the child, she was trapped inside the bus at a place where the fire surrounded her from all sides, resulting in her tragic demise. 

Several survivors said that Rakesh Sharma’s son, Gautam Sharma, had initially escaped the bus safely. However, he couldn’t ignore the screams coming from inside. Risking his life, Gautam went back into the bus. Displaying great bravery, he managed to rescue many people, but within seconds, the fire intensified to the point where he could not escape and was tragically burnt inside.

Several netizens have demanded that there should be a probe behind the cause of the fire whether the incident was an accident or if there could be foul play as recently the area had witnessed rioting in which Islamist mobs had launched attacks on Hindu devotees’s Shobha Yatra in July last year.  

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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