On Sunday, panic prevailed for a short time on EVK Sampath Salai near Vepery police station when a running MTC bus caught fire.

Around 3 p.m., smoke began billowing out the bus which had over 20 passengers. Everybody managed to escape in time.

Firemen from a nearby unit responded quickly and extinguished the flames.

According to the fire department, the accident took place in the afternoon when MTC bus 7F (Anna Nagar West to Broadway), driven by Dravidamani, took a turn near the police station.

Smoke began emanating from the engine panel close to the driver and he stopped the vehicle immediately. Along with conductor Rajesh Kannan, the driver attempted to put out the smoke but it turned into a fire.

The bus passengers quickly disembarked while an onlooker made a distress call to the fire control room around 3.20 p.m. Some passengers also ran to the Vepery fire station located 500 metres away from the accident spot and informed the firemen.

A team of six led by fireman Vadivel rushed to the spot with a fire tender and doused the flames in 20 minutes. “It is suspected an electrical fault in the battery unit of the vehicle caused the fire. Luckily all passengers got down immediately and we managed to extinguish the fire before it spread to other parts of the vehicle,” said a fireman.

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