Close Shave for 40 as Bus Catches Fire - The New Indian Express

Close Shave for 40 as Bus Catches Fire

Published: 05th January 2014 09:42 AM

Last Updated: 05th January 2014 09:42 AM

Passengers on an MTC bus had a narrow escape after it went up in flames due to a suspected electrical short circuit, on the busy Millers Road in Purasaivakkam on Saturday night.  Around 40 passengers alighted the vehicle in the nick of time before the fire could spread from the engine to other parts.

The Villivakkam-bound 27D bus had halted at the Motcham Theatre bus stop when smoke started emanating from the front portion of the bus. As the smoke grew intense and flames started appearing, passengers panicked and rushed out of the bus. Even as motorists tried avoiding the burning bus on the congested road, flames completely engulfed it in a matter of minutes.

The incident created a pile up on the road, making it all the more difficult for the firefighters to reach the spot. “Since it was not possible to take the tenders near the bus, we joined 10 hoses to cover a distance of about 500 ft amidst the vehicles. By the time we started spraying water on the bus, it was already gutted,” said P Vijaya Kumar, station fire officer.

“It all happened too quickly. Suddenly, the passengers started rushing out of the bus. That was when we realised that the bus was on fire,” said Amirthalingam, a local resident who witnessed the accident.

The fire was put off after a struggle of nearly 30 minutes and traffic diverted in the area by the police. The incident led to a traffic snarl in the area.

Preliminary investigations suggest that the fire broke out from the front portion of the bus and electrical short circuit could be the reason. “There are wires connecting the battery near the engine area. If the chassis cleaning is not done properly, the mud accumulated underneath the bus would lead to damaging of the wire due to friction. If the outer layer of the wire is damaged, even minor friction would trigger a short circuit leading to a fire. Besides short circuit, extreme heat in engines too result in such accidents,” said R Anbalagan, general secretary, Nethaji Thozhilalar Pathukappu Sangam, an MTC employees trade union.

The Kilpauk police booked a case and were investigating. The bus was driven by Kabil Arasan and Paramasivam was the conductor.

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