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Newly married couple among eight burnt alive in road accident near Davangere

Staff Correspondent

Van hits truck's diesel tank and catches fire



MANGLED METAL: The gutted van which was involved in the accident near Davangere on Tuesday.

DAVANGERE: Eight persons, including a newly wed couple, were burnt alive when a van in which they were travelling collided with a truck and caught fire in the early hours of Tuesday near Kokanur village, about 18 km from here, on Bangalore-Pune National Highway.

The passengers were on their way to Bangalore from Karwar after attending a marriage when the accident took place.

The van, the police said, hit the truck's diesel tank and caught fire. The truck driver and two others in the cabin of the truck jumped to safety. The cabin of the truck, which was bound for Ranibennur, also caught fire. The police identified the dead with the help of a driving licence found at the spot.

The van was completely gutted before fire engines and the police arrived at the spot. However, the Fire Services personnel put out the fire that had engulfed the cabin of the truck.

Traffic on the highway was disrupted for at least three hours with a large number of vehicles stranded. Senior officials, including Davangere Superintendent of Police Shivakumar and Regional Transport Officer H.J. Thembad visited the spot.

The names of the dead were given as Rayeez Khan, 40; his wife Ruksana Khan, 31; and their daughter Rabia, 5, all from Bangalore; Roshan Khan, 68, retired Range Forest Officer; and his wife, Noor Jehan, 60, from Hunsur; and Ruksana's brother Farid Khan, 34, the bridegroom, and Shaziya Farid, 26, the bride, hailing from Karwar. Udaykumar, 35, from Bangalore, driver of the van, was also killed.

Farid and Shaziya were married in Karwar on Sunday.

The driver of the truck, in his statement to the police, claimed that he had noticed the driver of the van dozing off before it crashed into his truck.

The relatives of the dead arrived at the Chigateri hospital to collect the bodies.

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