CHENNAI, BENGALURU: Over 40 passengers of a Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation bus running from Bengaluru to Chennai had a narrow escape when the fire suddenly engulfed the vehicle as it reached Chennai’s outskirts on Saturday morning.
The bus was moving slowly near a check-post 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.