Two passengers were charred alive, five admitted in critical condition and 20 others injured when a Madhya Pradesh Road Transport Corporation bus caught fire near Kalpana square in Bhubaneswar on Monday.
The bus, which was coming from Puri with pilgrims from Laxmanpura and Hinotia villages of Madhya Pradesh, accidentally caught fire and the entire bus was engulfed in a ball of flame in no time.
Two passengers were declared brought dead to the Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar, official sources said.
They were on their way back to their villages after a dip in the Gangasagar mela and a visit of Lord Jagannath's temple in Puri. The deceased were identified as Bhiran Singh and Ratan Lal, both in their sixties.
Locals rescued 25 passengers, who were rushed to the Capital Hospital with varying degrees of burn injuries.
The passengers were carrying woolen garments and kerosene stoves, which might have prompted the fire blaze to spread so fast, the sources said.
The fire, which broke out only metres away from the state museum, gutted the bus completely.