Close shave for 40 as K’taka bus catches fire

Timely alert from road users saves the day for pas­sen­gers

Sunday Express - - CHENNAI - EX­PRESS NEWS SER­VICE @ Chen­nai, Ben­galuru

OVER 40 pas­sen­gers of a Kar­nataka State Road Trans­port Cor­po­ra­tion bus run­ning from Ben­galuru to Chen­nai had a nar­row es­cape when fire sud­denly en­gulfed the ve­hi­cle as it reached Chen­nai’s out­skirts on Satur­day morn­ing.

The bus was mov­ing slowly near a check­post at Nazarath­pet around 8.20 am when mo­torists be­hind the bus alerted the bus driver about the smoke em­a­nat­ing from the rear of the bus.

The timely alert helped all pas­sen­gers get out of the bus safely. But as the fire ten­ders could not im­me­di­ately reach the spot due to the traf­fic jam on the stretch, the bus was fully en­gulfed by the fire and re­duced to its skele­ton in just an hour.

“As I got down to check the smoke, it be­came ap­par­ent that the fire was spread­ing. So con­duc­tor Ra­machan­dran and I im­me­di­ately alerted all pas­sen­gers to get down,” bus driver S Srid­har told Ex­press.

He said the bus be­gan its jour­ney from Ben­galuru at 10 pm on Fri­day.

As fire and res­cue ser­vices were alerted, fire ten­ders from Poona­mallee, Madu­ravoyal and Am­bat­tur sta­tions rushed to the spot.

“But due to the burn­ing ve­hi­cle, the traf­fic was jammed from Sripe­rum­budur on the Poona­mallee stretch. We asked po­lice help to clear the traf­fic for us to reach the spot. But by the time we could get there and put out the fire, al­most the en­tire in­te­rior of the bus was gutted,” Am­bat­tur fire sta­tion of­fi­cer Muthukr­ish­nan told Ex­press.

“Luck­ily none was in­jured. But we have reg­is­tered a case and are in­ves­ti­gat­ing,” said Nazarath­pet po­lice in­spec­tor Jayachandran.

In Ben­galuru, Kar­nataka State Road Trans­port Cor­po­ra­tion Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer Latha T S said trans­port cor­po­ra­tion of­fi­cials were headed to­wards Chen­nai to ex­am­ine the bus and as­cer­tain the cause of the fire which was first seen com­ing from the en­gine.

“We are re­lieved that none of the pas­sen­gers was hurt and our driver and con­duc­tor en­sured that the pas­sen­gers ex­ited the bus im­me­di­ately and even their lug­gage could be re­moved in time,” she said.

EX­PRESS

The Kar­nataka State Road Trans­port Cor­po­ra­tion bus that caught fire on the Ben­galuru High­way near Nazarath­pet in Poona­mallee on Satur­day |

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