Lucky escape for 61 as ST bus catches fire

No one hurt; bus was one of the extra services arranged for Ganeshotsav

Published - September 02, 2019 01:34 am IST - Mumbai

Charred: The passengers lost all their luggage as the bus was completely damaged in the fire.

Charred: The passengers lost all their luggage as the bus was completely damaged in the fire.

In a close shave, 59 passengers, the driver and the conductor of a State transport bus escaped unhurt after the vehicle caught fire early on Sunday. The fire led to traffic snarls on the Mumbai-Goa Highway.

According to officials from the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), around 6.45 a.m., the driver of the Mumbai-Ratnagiri bus noticed smoke coming out of the bonnet near Vadpale village close to Mangaon in Raigad district.

“The driver immediately pulled the bus to the side of the road to inspect it. Just as he was doing so, flames engulfed the engine. The passengers were immediately evacuated and there were no injuries,” Abhijeet Bhosale, chief public relations officer, MSRTC, said.

Though they escaped unhurt, the passengers, driver and conductor lost their belongings as the bus was completely charred.

The fire department of the Mahad Municipal Council was called in to douse the blaze. “All passengers were provided tea and biscuits immediately. We noted down the contact details of the passengers and initially took them to Mahad, from where another bus was organised,” Mr. Bhosale said.

MSRTC officials said an inquiry has been initiated into the cause of the fire, but prima facie investigation suggests that a short circuit could have been the reason. The bus was one of the 2,200 additional services organised by MSRTC to cater to the excess rush for the Ganapati festival.

The bus, belonging to the Ichalkaranji depot in Kolhapur, was brought to Mumbai for the additional service, and left Parel terminus around 10 p.m. on Saturday.

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