Close shave for 70 as bus goes up in flames
By Express News Service - CHENNAI
22nd December 2012 08:22 AM
Around 70 passengers of an MTC bus plying between Vadapalani and Kundrathur had a narrow escape as the bus caught fire near Vadapalani on Friday. Timely action of the bus crew ensured that there were no casualties in the mishap that left the vehicle gutted.
Police said around 12.45 pm, the MTC bus (Route No 88) was crossing Big Bazaar on Arcot Road when the incident took place. The driver, Thangavelu, pulled the bus over to the side of the road when he noticed smoke emanating from the engine. Along with the conductor Karunanidhi, he then ensured that all the passengers alighted from the bus and moved to safety. Soon after, the entire bus was engulfed in flames.
Traffic on the stretch came to a standstill. Vehicles feared going past the burning bus.
Fire tenders from Koyambedu and Ashok Nagar rushed to the scene. It took the team about 30 minutes to douse the flames. The charred bus was then towed away.
The Virugambakkam Police registered a case. Preliminary investigations revealed that an electrical short-circuit in the engine could have sparked the fire. An inquiry was on.
The fully packed bus began its journey from Kundrathur bus stand at 11 am. The passengers had complained of an unusual noise when the bus reached Virugambakkam, which the driver checked and continued the journey, according to the police. The driver noticed smoke emanating from the air filter area of the bus when it reached Saligramam.
Eyewitnesses said that some of the panic-stricken passengers jumped out of the windows when they noticed the fire.
There were tense moments when the flames from the bus reached up to the overhead electric cables running along the stretch, damaging one of the cables.
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