In the second such incident in the past 10 days, a major fire broke out on a city bus run by the Surat municipal corporation on Monday afternoon. All the passengers were safely evacuated immediately after the fire.
As per the fire department, the bus with the number GJ-5-BX-3225—which was carrying over 35 passengers from the Godadara area to Chowk Bazaar—was near Radheyshyam Public School at Godadara when smoke started coming out from the engine in the driver’s cabin.
The driver immediately stopped the bus and directed the conductor and the passengers to vacate the bus. In a couple of minutes, the smoke gave way to flames of fire that engulfed the bus.
Fire department officials reached the spot and extinguished the fire, but not before it burnt down the bus to its skeleton, even though the passengers had escaped unhurt.
On November 26, a similar fire on a city bus was reported in Surat. Nobody was injured in that incident either.
To look into both the fires, municipal commissioner Shalini Agrawal has set up a committee comprising additional city engineer (mechanical and electrical) K H Khatwani, additional chief fire officer Basant Pareek, Surat RTO Mehul Gajjar, and professors of the mechanical engineering department of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Institute of Technology.
Talking to The Indian Express, Agrawal said, “We have set up a committee to probe into the incidents and see if there is a problem so that appropriate steps can be taken to prevent such incidents. Apart from this, we will also set up a team to assess the condition of the other city buses.”
Fire officer Manoj Shukla said, “The cause of fire may be a short circuit. It was the driver who immediately stopped the vehicle and made all passengers alight, as a result of which nobody got injured.”