Narrow escape for children as school bus catches fire in Delhi
Over a dozen school children had a narrow escape after their school bus caught fire near the Akshardham metro station in east Delhi around 1 pm on Tuesday.
As soon as the engine of the mini-bus caught fire, the driver, Ram Avatar Singh, who noticed the smoke first parked the vehicle on the side and evacuated the occupants.
No casualties were reported. Preliminary investigations suggest a short-circuit in air-conditioner unit led to the fire.
According to the police, children from class IV to VII studying in Kendriya Vidyalaya were returning from a competition in central Delhi. They were being accompanied by two teachers when the incident occurred.
“The driver luckily noticed the smoke from the engine and reacted quickly. He took the bus towards NH-24 and parked it on a side. He raised an alarm and the students were evacuated and taken to a safe distance. The moment the bus was evacuated, it went up in flames,” a senior police officer said.
In his statement, Singh told the police that he sensed the smell of a burning wire. It was then when he noticed smoke coming out of the engine.
“He immediately alerted the teachers. He asked them not to panic, took the bus to the left of he road and parked it. He said he kept a bottle of water in hand in case the bus caught fire and made sure the children deboarded the bus safely. He said passersby helped get the children out,” a police officer said.
As soon as the kids were evacuated, the bus caught fire and the flames spread within seconds.
“We received a call from a passerby following which we sent fire tenders to the spot. Preliminary investigations suggest that a loose wire in the engine resulted in the short-circuit leading to the fire,” a fire official said.