AUS­TRALIA

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Bris­bane bus driver dies af­ter be­ing set on fire by pas­sen­ger

A bus driver has died in Bris­bane, Aus­tralia, af­ter a pas­sen­ger threw an “item” which set him on fire, say po­lice.

Six “deeply trau­ma­tised” pas­sen­gers es­caped the smoke-filled ve­hi­cle with the help of a taxi driver who forced open the back door of the bus.

Eleven peo­ple were treated by paramedics for smoke in­hala­tion and mi­nor in­juries.

Po­lice ar­rested a 48-year-old man and have ruled out ter­ror­ism.

The bus driver was iden­ti­fied as Man­meet Alisher, a 29-yearold man well known in Bris­bane’s In­dian com­mu­nity.

Friends de­scribed him as a tal­ented singer and dancer who was en­gaged to be mar­ried.

“I’ve been con­fronted with many sit­u­a­tions, but here, this is a rare one where there ap­pears to be no ap­par­ent mo­tive,” Po­lice Supt Jim Keogh told re­porters.

“A bus driver, go­ing about do­ing his busi­ness, sup­port­ing the com­mu­nity, has had his life taken from him in what is a sense­less and need­less act.” Taxi driver Aguek Nyok helped pas­sen­gers es­cape. “All the peo­ple were at the back try­ing to get out of the bus but they couldn’t get out the front be­cause of the flames,” he told the Couri­erMail news­pa­per.

“They couldn’t open the back door so I kicked it down and they all came run­ning out.”

Bris­bane Lord Mayor Gra­ham Quirk said it was “a very, very sad day for the coun­cil and the wider com­mu­nity”.

Flags will be flown at half-mast across the city on Satur­day as sign of re­spect for Mr Alisher.

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