SANGAREDDY / HYDERABAD: A 40-year-old man was charred to death in his car on the Outer Ring Road on Wednesday. The deceased has been identified as V Venkatagiri. According to police, Venkatagiri was a manager at the Gangawaram port office in Hyderabad and was headed to duty on Wednesday morning. His car caught fire when it reached Sultanpur -- reportedly due to a short circuit -- and Venkatagiri was charred to death. Fire fighters rushed from Patancheru to douse the fire. The dead body was sent to post-mortem and later handed over to relatives.
Poor maintenance and overloaded engines
Incidents of motor vehicles catching fire are on the rise. Apart from the incident on Wednesday near Sangareddy in which a man lost his life after a moving car caught fire on the ORR, only a week ago there were at least three such reports from different parts of the city wherein vehicles caught fire but fortunately no casualties were reported.
While two of them were blazed while moving, the third one was stationary at the time of the mishap. Last year, in a similar accident, a car caught fire while moving near the Tank Bund while the youth driving it was burnt alive. According to the Telangana State Disaster Response and Fire Services Department there were as many as 200 cases of four wheeler vehicles catching fire across the State, in 2018 alone.
Although investigations into cases of vehicles catching fire are still underway, fire department officials at the fire services department have said that fire accidents in vehicles occur due to poor maintenance and faulty electrical wiring introduced by the additional fittings concomitant with modifications that a person adds to his car, like headlights and sound system.
They said that the most accidents tend to occur in the summer season and a common reason is the overheating of vehicle engines. Apart from this, a lot of times people get their vehicles modified with additional fittings and when this is done with poor-quality electrical fittings, it becomes susceptible to short circuit resulting in a fire.
When contacted, the District Fire Officer of Hyderabad, M Srinivas Reddy said, “It has been observed that it is mostly four-wheelers that catch fire and the reason is more often than not short circuits. When inquired further, we find that the overloads are caused by the extra fittings in these vehicles.” He further said, “There is a threat of fire also from Air Conditioning (AC) unit. It is advisable to avoid a continued usage of AC while travelling.”