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5 killed as car catches fire in India’s Chhattisgarh

At least five members of a family were charred to death Friday after a car carrying them caught fire following an accident in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, police said.

The accident took place near Singarpur in Rajnandgaon district, about 85 km west of Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh, Xinhua reports.

“Today five members of a family, including four women, were burnt alive in a fire that apparently broke out in their car after an accident on Rajnandgaon-Khairagarh road near Singarpur village,” a police official said.

“Preliminary investigations revealed the car suddenly lost balance and rammed into a bridge and then overturned before catching fire,” according to the police, saying the flames engulfed the car and the passengers could not escape.

“The victims were identified as a couple and their three daughters,” the police said. “They were returning from a wedding function.”

The police have shifted the bodies to the hospital for autopsy.

Deadly road accidents caused by overloading, bad road conditions and reckless driving are common in India.

Around 150,000 people are killed every year in around half a million road accidents across India, officials said.

India’s federal minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari last year said the government has set a target to reduce road accident deaths by 50 percent by 2024.