Suresh Hegde of Merdi among Bus Fire Victims in Hubballi
Kundapur: A Durgamba non-AC sleeper passenger bus plying from Bengaluru to Hubballi had caught fire at Varur, about 20 kms ahead of the city, around 5-30 am on Wednesday morning.
Three were charred to death and six were injured in the mishap. It took some time to identify the victims as they had been charred beyond recognition. Now the names have been officially announced as Dr Sagar from Haveri, Shashi from Vijayapura and Suresh Hegde of Merdi, Kundapur origin.
Hegde worked as the sales manager of Medishare Surgical Company in Hubballi. He had gone to Bengaluru on personal work and was on his way back. He is survived by wife Krishnaveni and a son. His brother Merdi Satish Hegde, Udupi district president of industry morcha of the BJP.
As soon as the fire and smoke was detected, the driver is said to have stopped the bus and called out to all the passengers to come out to safety. The three victims were reportedly at the rear end and before they could save themselves, they were engulfed in the flames.
Among the six injured, five have been admitted to KLE hospital in Belagavi and another to SDM hospital in Dharwad. A child of a year and a half has remained safe.
While an electrical short circuit is said to have caused the fire, there is a strong suspicion that a large quantity of cigarettes and chemicals was being transported in the bus. This is yet to be confirmed from a thorough investigation.