KOCHI: Around seven students of Fathima Matha UP School, Malippara in Kothamangalam had a miraculous escape on Monday when their school van caught fire en route to the school, thanks to the quick thinking by the driver.The headmaster of the school Siji Augustine said none of the students suffered any injuries. “When the driver spotted the smoke coming out of the front grill of the vehicle, he parked it in a clear spot away from the main road. He then took all the seven students to safety before the fire engulfed the entire van,” said Augustine. The fire was caused by short-circuit, he said.
“The vehicle, engaged by the school on contract, had been running for 15 minutes, picking up students from different spots, before the smoke was spotted. Since the incident took place in a remote area, it took fire fighters 20 minutes to reach the spot. By that time, the van had been gutted,” Augustine said.
He said all the documents of the van were in order. “The school doesn’t own any vehicle to ferry students to school. So, we had to get one on contract. Students studying at the school come in from remote areas and if transportation is not provided, they might go to one that has such facilities,” he said.