A fire broke out in Additional Director General of Police highway safety patrol, Arup Patnaik's official car near Mantralaya on Monday triggering panic amongst the police officials.
The Colaba police said the fire was caused due to a petrol leakage and short-circuit.
Patnaik, who was accompanied by his operator Santosh Pawar and driver Bagal Kote, was on his way towards Mantaralaya in his Indigo when he saw smoke and sparks emitting from the engine of the car. The police said the incident occurred at around 11.45am.
Patnaik who noticed the fire, immediately got down from the car. However, his operator Pawar suffered minor burns on his hand while checking the source of the fire.
“The engine was jerking, and even though the driver tried to accelerate, it was not responding,” Patnaik said. He said as soon as he smelt petrol, he asked the driver to stop the car.
When Patnaik bent down to check, he saw petrol leaking from the engine.
The petrol soon caught fire and in seconds the car was engulfed in it. Patnaik and his staff, who had little time to react, paced back and were saved from the flames with minor burns to the hands and scalp.
The fire brigade managed to control the fire.
Iqbal Sheikh, Assistant Commissioner of Police said, “Initial inquiry suggests the fire occurred due to a short-circuit in the air-conditioning system.”
The bomb disposal squad also rushed to the spot to investigate if any foul play was involved.
Experts from the Motor Transport (MT) department and Tata Motors are examining the car to know the cause of the fire. The vehicle had been allotted to Patnaik almost eight months ago by the MT department.
The department had procured the present vehicle almost four years ago.