Bahraich: Sixteen persons were killed on Friday night when a bus carrying pilgrims to Ajmer collided with a truck and burst into flames at Kotwali Dehat police station of the Bahraich district.
   
The bus collided head-on with the truck on Gonda-Bahraich road near Chilwaria village and caught fire at around 10:30 PM.
   
District Magistrate Kinjal said eight bodies have been recovered from inside the bus and the injured people were taken to nearby hospital.
   
Kinjal, however, declined to specify how many people were inside the 54-seater bus, which was carrying the pilgrims from Ambedkar Nagar to Ajmer Sharif.
   
She said the bus caught fire possibly due to the explosion of a cooking gas cylinder inside the vehicle. However an inquiry will establish the cause, she added.
   
Chief Development Officer of the district Sukhlal Bharti said the bus was carrying about 60 to 70 people. However, Mehdi Raza, one of the rescued passengers, said that there were about 80 people in the bus when the accident took place.
   
Rescuers, using gas-cutters, cut open the twisted metal of the bus to pull out bodies and survivors from inside the vehicle. The rescue operation has been completed, Kinjal said.

(Agencies)

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