Hindustan Times (Delhi)

School bus catches fire, close shave for 17 kids

- Peeyush Khandelwal peeyush.khandelwal@hindustant­imes.com

IN INDIRAPURA­M All kids onboard rescued, cylinder leak suspected to have caused blaze

Seventeen schoolchil­dren from classes 1 to 8 of Fr Agnel School in Vaishali, Ghaziabad had a narrow escape on Tuesday when their bus caught fire in Indirapura­m.

As per fire department officials, the bus started from school around 1pm with about 50 children and reached Ahimsa Khand for another drop when the fumes started billowing from the front portion of the vehicle.

“The bus was dropping students at Ahimsa Khand when fumes started billowing. About 17 children were present in the bus as the fire started due to a leakage in the CNG cylinder. The driver, conductor and a teacher showed courage to rescue children and fire personnel also reached the spot to aid rescue efforts,” said Som Dutt Sonkar, fire safety officer, Vaishali.

The bus belongs to a contractor and was hired by the school for pick and drop services.

Before the department could press in two tenders, the fire had already started raging and all efforts by locals, shopkeeper­s and security guards of high-rises to douse the fire, went in vain. Two fire tenders and personnel doused the fire but the bus was completely burnt by then.

The incident could have proved more devastatin­g as the fire department personnel also recovered a small LPG cylinder kept behind the driver’s seat.

“The LPG cylinder was filled up and got deformed due to the heat generated by the fire. Luckily, it did not catch fire,” the fire officer said.

“It seems the bus roped in was for tour and travel services and the cylinder was used by bus staff for cooking during long journeys. We could not find ‘school bus’ written on it. A report will be sent to the transport department,” he said.

A majority of school bags, books and other belongings of the students and staff were burnt down in the blaze. The students were in a state of shock on seeing the bus burn. Their parents were informed and they rushed to the site leaving work behind.

The school authoritie­s could not be contacted. The school staff said that the officials had left for the day. However, the Ghaziabad transport department officials said that an inquiry will be initiated to find out the exact cause of the blaze.

“The enforcemen­t officials visited the spot and also inspected the bus. The documents of permits, registrati­on, fitness and those related to CNG installati­on were in order. However, the inquiry will bring out the cause of the fire and a notice is also being served,” said Mayank Jyoti, regional transport officer, Ghaziabad.

“The discovery of a 5kg LPG cylinder will be probed. If laxity is establishe­d, we will write to the Delhi transport department and recommend cancellati­on of permits as the vehicle is registered in Delhi,” he said.

Earlier in the day, nearly 50 children at a playschool in Vasundhara had to be rescued after short-circuit caused fire in electrical panel installed on the ground floor.

 ?? HT PHOTO ?? The bus in which the students were returning home.
HT PHOTO The bus in which the students were returning home.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India