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13 killed, 20 injured in bus-van collision in Bangladesh

Dhaka: At least 13 people were charred to death and 20 others injured in massive fire explosions sparked by head-on collision between a bus and a covered van, hauling gas cylinders, in southwest Bangladesh, police said today.

The accident took place last night on a highway connecting Dhaka and Khulna town in Faridpur district.

"Thirteen people have died so far in the accident while nearly 20 people are being treated for injuries caused by the accident," a police official said.

Media reports quoting witnesses said that a massive fire engulfed both the vehicles as the gas cylinders fell off the van following the collision with a bus and exploded. They said that most of the victims were burned to death beyond recognition.

"Most of them died almost instantly. Some of the wounded bus passengers were critically injured," a police officer said, adding that the death toll may increase.

The van driver was among the dead.

Fire service and Civil Defence assistant director Momtaz Uddin said that the fire might have occurred by explosion of gas cylinders.
Four fire fighting units from Faridpur were rushed to the spot and brought the fire under control, he added.

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