Fire originated in engine, destroys semi-luxury bus coming from Hassan to Bangalore

Over 25 passengers travelling by a Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus had a fortunate escape after the bus caught fire in Yeshwanthpur on Thursday.

Although the bus was destroyed in the fire, all 27 occupants, including the driver and the conductor, escaped unhurt.

The accident comes a week after a private Volvo bus to Hyderabad caught fire, killing 45 passengers.

According to the Yeshwanthpur police, around 5.30 p.m., the KSRTC’s Vaibhava, a semi-luxury bus, from Hassan to Bangalore stopped at Goraguntepalya junction so that some passengers could get off. Some people saw thick smoke coming from the engine and alerted the driver. The fire caused panic among passengers, who rushed out of the bus.

Driver Mohammed Yusuf Sheriff and conductor Range Gowda tried to remove the battery and douse the fire with water from a bottle, but in vain. Some passersby and shopkeepers also pitched in, but the fire engulfed the entire bus within minutes. Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot and put out the fire, the police said.

Traffic on the busy Yeshwanthpur road was disrupted for a while.

Some passengers reportedly lost their belongings in the fire as they got out in a hurry.

Police estimate that there were around 25 passengers on board, but a KSRTC spokesperson said the bus, which left Hassan at 2.15 p.m., had 17 passengers when the accident occurred.

Preliminary examination suggests that a short circuit in the wiring could be the reason for the fire. KSRTC officials towed the bus to the depot to conduct a detailed probe. The KSRTC spokesperson said the fire erupted from the engine of the bus.

The coach, built on a Tata 1618 model, was commissioned on December 24, 2012 into the KSRTC fleet and had clocked 3.87 lakh km.

The bus had undergone routine maintenance on Wednesday.

The Yeshwanthpur police are investigating further.

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