The bus accident in which six people were charred to death in Hiriyur taluk on Wednesday could have been averted had the driver been alert, police said. “Passengers told us that the driver was alone in the cabin and one of the passengers alerted him about the fire in the bus. Noticing thick smoke emanating from the bus, the driver panicked and swerved the bus towards left and lost control over the vehicle,” the police official said. IGP (Eastern Range) Dr Parashivamurthy told Express that the driver could have alerted other passengers had he stayed back at the place of accident. “It seems like a fire started inside the bus. It spread because of the nylon window screens,” he said. Hiriyur police arrested the driver, Fairoz, in the afternoon. “We found beedi bundles in the luggage box. We suspect the fire broke out after someone tried to light a beedi,” an official said. RTO officials said the bus had contract carriage licence for running between Davangere and Bangalore. Additional Commissioner (Enforcement) RTO Muniveere Gowda said the bus is registered in Bangalore and has valid documents.