TN bus mishap victims were 'burnt to the bones'

 The passengers could not even leave the bus, trapped as they were inside, as flames engulfed them, roasting them to death in the dead of night.

On Wednesday morning, an uncertain calm hung over the tragedy site, about two kilometres from Kaveripakkam, in Tamil Nadu, as people from nearby areas to see what was left of the bus — a singed metal shell bearing evidence of the ghastly death the passengers met. Their death was all the more horrific as their cries for help could not reach the homes of local residents fast asleep at that time.

Charred remains of human flesh still cling to the inner walls of the bus and the metal skeletons of the mangled seats. The frame of the bus has been moved a few metres for the police and forensics team to pursue their investigations. The pit where the bus and its ill-fated passengers were reduced to cinder is sprinkled with bits and pieces of flesh and bones blackened by the flames. Stepping on these remains reduced them to black powder.

Sugamani, local tender coconut vendor, said: Around 11 pm (Tuesday) we heard a blast and then saw fire. We ignored it as a lot of waste is generally burnt around the area the incident occured.” He said that it was only about an hour later, when about 40 villagers and a team of fire department personnel gathered around the spot did he realise that something was wrong. He describes the spot at about 2 am as “black and burnt.”
Forensics science experts who went over the tragedy site said the burns were third degree in nature and the bodies were “burnt to the bones” -- an indicator that the flames did not spare any portion of the 22 bodies.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Tamil Nadu Forensics Science Department Assistant Director Pari said: “We will be taking specimen samples from the most suitable internal organs and the bodies will be handed over to the relatives only after the autopsy.”The incident, which has marred the lives of 22 families, was described as the most fatal in a long time on the Chennai-Bangalore highway. According to the bus driver S Nagarajan’s statement, which was also verified by the forensics science department, the incident occurred while the KPN Travels A/C sleeper coach was trying to overtake a lorry from the left.

The Tamil Nadu government, police officials said, has announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the families of the dead and Rs 50,000 to the injured in the accident. The driver, sources said, has been booked under IPC sections 304 (A) and 279, while Shankar refused to comment on whether he would bail his employee out.

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