A Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) bus with as many as 63 passengers onboard caught fire near Karumathampatti in the Coimbatore district on Tuesday evening.
Preliminary reports suggested that all the passengers aboard the Coimbatore-bound bus were able to get out of the vehicle before the fire spread.
As per reports, the incident occurred at around 4:15 pm when the bus was approaching Karumathampatti on the Salem – Kochi highway. After noticing smoke coming out from the front side, the driver stopped the bus immediately with the crew helping to evacuate all the passengers, moving them to a safe distance.
After that, the crew went on to alert the police as the fire slowly engulfed the entire bus. An emergency response unit from the Sulur fire station was rushed to the location after the police were informed. Another unit from Avinashi also reached the scene of the incident soon. Following about an hour of struggle, the fire brigades doused the flames.
The Sulur fire station officer M Ragunathan said, “The driver heard a loud noise and stopped the vehicle. We are yet to ascertain the actual cause of the fire.”
Meanwhile, the stranded passengers were provided with another bus arranged from the TNSTC depot at Karumathampatti as they continued their journey. The incident caused traffic disruptions on one side of the highway for about an hour.
(With inputs from The Hindu)