Panic gripped passengers when they saw smoke emanating from the KSRTC Airavat Volvo bus they travelling in between Mysore and Bangalore on Tuesday morning.
Recently, a fire in a private Volvo bus had claimed the lives of 40 passengers in Mahbubnagar in Andhra Pradesh.
In Tuesday’s incident, a short circuit in the rear-mounted engine of the bus caused smoke to enter the vehicle at around 9.15 am. The passengers informed the conductor and driver, who immediately stopped the bus near Chamundeshwari Temple at Kalahalli.
Kaleem, a worker at a four-wheeler service station at the spot where the bus stopped, said the fire broke out when the conductor opened the rear engine door. Water from a nearby pump was used to douse the fire because there were no fire extinguishers in the bus, Kaleem said.
Locals informed the traffic police, who summoned the fire brigade. Fire station officer G Manjunath said: “A spark in the engine caused the fire. After dousing the fire and cooling the engine, the vehicle was taken to the KSRTC depot.”
When contacted, KSRTC divisional controller N K Basavaraju said: “There is a test lamp near the rear engine. The lamp wire had a short circuit and this led to the smoke.”
Another Volvo bus was arranged to ferry the passengers to their destinations, but the driver and conductor had already sent the passengers in Rajahamsa and Airavata Volvo buses which happened to pass through the route at that time.