An alert crew, including a woman conductor, on a Kinglong state transport bus, saved the lives of more than 44 passengers after it caught fire following a technical snag near Airoli bridge at Mulund on Saturday evening.
The Swargate-Pune-Dadar bus was on its way to Mumbai and had started from Swargate at around 4.30 pm.
After the bus started developing problems at around 8.45 pm, the crew of the bus — conductor Sheetal Chemte and driver Riyaz Shaikh — immediately asked passengers to evacuate the vehicle. The bus was full, with all 44 seats occupied. As they evacuated the bus, flames engulfed the entire bus.
"The alert crew's presence of mind saved the lives of the passengers," MSRTC spokesperson Mukund Dhus said.
There have been several instances of the rear-engine Kinglong bus catching fire over the past three years. The buses were first inducted by the BEST and have now been introduced on MSRTC's intra-state routes.