Eight people, including a child, were charred to death when their SUV collided with an oncoming truck and caught fire in an Uttar Pradesh district, according to the police on Sunday.
The fatal accident occurred late on Saturday near Dubhaura village in the Bhojipura area on the Bareilly-Nainital Road. The SUV's driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle after a tire puncture, causing it to jump the barrier onto the opposite side of the road, where it was struck by the truck.
Upon reaching the scene, the police found the SUV engulfed in flames. Superintendent of Police Sushil Chandrabhan confirmed the tragic deaths of all eight individuals, including the child.
According to police reports, the SUV belonged to Sumit Gupta, a grocery shop owner, who had loaned it to Furkan. Asif, a customer from Narayan Nagla village, had requested the vehicle for his nephew Furkan to attend a wedding in Bareilly on Saturday morning.
Eyewitnesses revealed that the SUV lost control just a kilometer ahead of Bhojipura police station, with its speed causing damage to the divider of the four lanes. The vehicle collided with a truck coming from the Nainital side, resulting in the fire.
The victims have been identified as Furkan (40), Mohammed Ayyub (36), Babu Mansoori (8), Mohammad Aalim (22), Mohammad Ashiq Shameem (34), Mohammad Asif (22), Mohammad Arif (24), and Mohammad Shadab (19), all residents of the Baheri area.
Tragically, those inside the SUV were unable to escape as the doors did not open, possibly due to a malfunctioning central locking system. Passers-by attempted to break the glass, but the intensity of the flames prevented any rescue attempts.
While some individuals brought fire extinguishers from a nearby petrol pump, Bareilly's Chief Fire Officer Chandra Mohan Sharma stated that the cause of the accident is uncertain at this time. Possible factors, including a tire burst or the driver losing control due to fatigue or intoxication, will be clarified after the forensic team completes its investigation.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed condolences for the victims of the tragic incident.