Nine people died in a fire on a bus carrying worshippers in Haryana.

A motorcyclist trailed the bus and attempted to alert the driver about the flames emerging from the vehicle.

Nine worshippers lost their lives and numerous others were injured when their bus caught fire on the Kundali-Manesar-Palwal Expressway in Haryana on Friday night, according to officials. The worshippers were on their way back from a pilgrimage to Mathura and Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh when the fire started near Nuh.

The bus was transporting more than 60 individuals from a family, comprising women and children, all hailing from Punjab.

Survivors reported detecting smoke at the rear of the bus around 1:30 am on Saturday.

A motorcyclist spotted flames at the rear of the bus and pursued it. Eventually, he caught up to the bus and alerted the driver, prompting the bus to halt.

“We had rented the bus for a 10-day pilgrimage to sacred sites. On our way back home Friday night, we noticed the smell of smoke while we were asleep. The bus came to a stop after the motorcyclist warned the driver,” recounted one of the survivors.

After the bus came to a halt, locals notified the police and attempted to extinguish the fire and rescue passengers. Upon the arrival of the fire brigade, the blaze was put out, and the injured were swiftly taken to nearby hospitals.

Local residents claimed that fire officials arrived three hours later, by which time the bus had already been consumed by the fire. “We chased after the bus, breaking windows to rescue as many people as possible before the fire became too fierce. We alerted the police, but they were slow to respond,” stated a local resident.

“Nine individuals—six women and three men—lost their lives in the incident. Fifteen others sustained injuries and are currently receiving treatment in the hospital. All the injured individuals are in stable condition,” stated Inspector Jitendra Kumar to news agency PTI.

The cause of the fire remains unknown at this time.

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