Six people were charred to death when a private bus caught fire and fell into a gorge near Metikurke village in Hiriyur taluk at 2.45 am on Wednesday. The contract carriage sleeper bus belonging to SRS Travels was on its way to Bangalore from Davangere. The identity of five of the victims is yet to be ascertained. As the passengers boarded the bus without reservation, their identities are still unknown. According to police, the bus carrying 29 passengers left Davangere at 12.30 am. When it reached Metikurke village, the bus driver spotted a fire emanating from the vehicle and jumped out. Gopal, a survivor, told Express that a spark in the engine caused the fire and spread to the rest of the vehicle within seconds. Gopal managed to break a window and jump out, along with several others. As the cabin of the sleeper coach was locked, passengers sitting in the front seats couldn’t get out and were charred to death. Critically injured Sripriya (25) and Sanjay (28) both from Mysore; Kashinath (38) from Sulibele in Hoskote; Mohammed Musthafa (35) from Harihar and Mohammed Sohail (43) from Nayakanahatti have been sent to a super-speciality hospital in Davangere for further treatment. Other passengers who suffered minor injuries were discharged after being given first aid.