They had set from their homes in the remotest corners of Eastern Uttar Pradesh for a pilgrimage to the famous Ajmer 'dargah', but barely a few hours later many of them met their gruesome end as the bus in which they were travelling, caught fire after a collision with a truck loaded with sand in Bahraich, about 130 km from Lucknow, Friday evening.
Initial reports put the death toll at 25, while local authorities believe the death toll willrise.
According to the police, "The fire was apparently caused by gas cylinders being carried by the group of pilgrims who had hired the bus from Faizabad and were making their first halt at Bahraich where they were to offer prayers at another 'dargah' as a precursor to their Ajmer pilgrimage."
Cops do not rule out the possibility of more deaths as the fire had engulfed the bus. "The incident had left many grievously injured and doctors at the district hospital described some of the wounded as critical."