Bus blaze: Driver arrested, claims tyre burst led to mishap


The Haveri district police arrested the driver of a Volvo bus which caught fire on Thursday morning resulting in the death of seven people.

The Superintendent of Police (Haveri district) N Shashikumar said the driver Muzbir has stated before the police that the accident occurred after a tyre burst, sending the bus into a road median. Sparks in the course of the crash caused a fire resulting in the mishap, police said quoting the driver. The driver also told the police that it was his screaming that alerted passengers to jump out. He claimed to have fled the scene to escape being attacked by an angry mob.

"We have recorded the statement of the driver and will verify if it is true or not," Shashikumar said. Seven persons, including three children, were charred to death in the incident. On Thursday, six persons, including a back up driver who died in the bus, were identified while a seventh victim has been identified as Hemanth Kumar of Surat.

The police said the injured persons admitted at the KIMS Hospital in Hubli were shifted to various hospitals in Bangalore for further treatment. Mohammed Basheer, 42, from Bangalore, who received 60 per cent burn injuries and conductor Wazir with 10 per cent burn injuries were shifted to the Victoria hospital. Two others, Sriram, 27, from Rajasthan and Raghavendra from UP have been shifted to the St John's hospital in Bangalore.

Haveri police said that five of the dead were members of a family from Mumbai. A couple Kalim Khan, 40, and his wife Shameem Banu, 32, and their three children Ayman, Numan and Kaif were returning to their home in Jogeshwari in Mumbai after visiting their relatives in Bangalore when the accident occurred and they were unable to escape in time, police said. The other two victims are Hemanth Kumar from Surat in Gujarat and Niyaz, the back up bus driver, from Bangalore.

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