At least eight Indian commuters have been burnt alive and 14 injured after a luxury bus rammed into a diesel tanker.

The accident, late on Tuesday night, occurred at around 1.45 am (local time) on a highway adjoining Kude village, 163km from commercial capital Mumbai in western India, reports said.

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Most  passengers were sleeping at the time of the accident. The bus was travelling from Pune in western Maharashtra state to Ahmedabad in neighbouring Gujarat state, reports said.

"The bodies could not be identified as they are charred beyond recognition. The bodies have been sent for post mortem. The district administration is in the process of contacting the bus operator to get the names of the passengers travelling in the bus,"  the news agency PTI quoted Thane District Collector P Velrasu as saying.

Traffic was closed on the highway for four hours as the police and rescue  teams worked cautiously to help survivors. A police official was quoted as saying they had to be careful as the accident involved a diesel-tanker.

On May 29, 2013 a similar accident involving a luxury bus and tanker uncannily close to this spot had left 14 people dead and 40 injured, reports said.

In recent months, India has witnessed at least three instances involving high-end luxury buses which have gone up in flames after an accident, leaving scores of passengers dead. 

Source: Al Jazeera