HYDERABAD, India — Forty passengers were burnt alive when a bus caught fire in Mahabubnagar district in Andhra Pradesh early Wednesday, police said. A private bus coming to Hyderabad from Bangalore caught fire after hitting a culvert near Palem in Mahabubnagar district around 05:20 am local time, said police. However, least nine people, including the driver and a cleaner of the bus, managed to escape. The Volvo bus was carrying 49 people. All the passengers were asleep when the bus hit the culvert and its diesel tank exploded, said police. "The mishap happened when the bus in which some 50 passengers were traveling caught fire in the state's Mehboobnagar district. While 40 people were charred to death, the injured others have been rushed to a local hospital," a senior police officer said, on condition of anonymity. A probe has been ordered into the accident, the official added. Accidents take place frequently in India due to reckless driving, bad road conditions and overworking of drivers.