Mumbai: Narrow escape for 25, as bus catches fire

Bhayandar: As many as 25 passengers and crew members of a private luxury bus had a miraculous escape when the vehicle caught fire near toll collection post on the Ghodbunder-Thane road in Kashimira at 6.45 am on Friday.

The Amreli registered bus (GJ 14 X-3140) was headed to Thane from Ahmedabad via the state highway when an auto-rickshaw driver noticed a burning tyre on the rear and alerted the bus driver who immediately stopped the vehicle and with the help of the conductor evacuated the commuters.

The flames soon spread to the entire bus and destroyed it completely even as the passengers and the crew watched helplessly. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Personnel from the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation’s fire station reached the spot and doused the flames. However, by then the bus was charred and the passengers’ belongings on the inner racks and the luggage compartment were reduced to ashes. Though the exact cause is yet to be ascertained, it is suspected that the friction of the wheels with the road in the heat caused the fire, officials said.

“The incident led to a traffic snarl. However, our personnel swung into action and cleared it ensuring smooth vehicular movement,” said Anil Pawar, the senior insdpector (traffic).