Hyderabad: A 6-year-old boy died and four people were injured after a private tourist bus, travelling from Shridi in Maharashtra to Hyderabad, caught fire at Humnabad, in the wee hours of Friday.
Maharashtra police said the fire broke out at a motel (Dhaba) at Humnabad, where the driver had stopped for a break.
On spotting thick smoke spewing out of the engine the driver allegedly panicked and fled from the scene.
Onlookers broke the window panes of the bus and helped the passengers to disembark from the burning bus.
However, in the melee, a young boy was left behind and died due to burns and suffocation.
The bus, belonging to private company Kaveri Travels, was carrying 32 passengers home from a religious pilgrimage at the Hindu shrine Shridi.
The victim was identified as 6-year-old Vehan from Tanuku in West Godavari district.
Most of the passengers were from Andhra Pradesh.
The injured were shifted to Hyderabad hospital. Telangana transport minister Mahinder Reddy ordered officials to arrange treatment free of cost for them.
As the accident had occurred in Karnataka which is witnessing violent protest over the issue of sharing river Kaveri waters with Tamil Nadu, initial reports suggested that agitators might have set the bus on the fire mistaking it to be from Tamil Nadu.
However Bidar district superintendent of Police Nikam Prakash said that there was no truth in these rumours and the short circuit in the bus was the cause of the fire.