Bus catches fire in Pune: 35 passengers escape unhurt
A Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) bus was gutted in a fire while carrying 35 passengers at Warje on Wednesday.
The bus was carrying 35 passengers from Katraj to Nigdi when it caught fire. The passengers were immediately asked to alight the vehicle after which it went up in flames completely, said PMPML officials. No casualties were reported in the incident which happened close to Rosary school located on Mumbai-Banglore highway at Warje.
“The bus crossed from under the bridge near Rosary school and turned towards Warje when the smoke started coming. Because of a high amount of fibre, the fire started billowing,” said fire officer Agand Dnyanoba Lipane who was leading the team to douse the fire.
This was the third such incident this year. In 2018, six incidents of PMPML bus catching fire were reported. According to Lipane, the wiring of the bus, the cushions, everything caught fire immediately.
“We took two fire vehicles (instead of one) because of the compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel in the bus which was at risk of fuelling the fire further,” said Lipane. A total of 11 firemen and 2 drivers, along with fire officer Lipane, were involved in the process that lasted for 35 minutes and two fire brigade vehicles were present at the spot.
The bus was manufactured by Ashok Leyland and was four years and four months old. Registered under MH12KQ1186, the bus was fuelled by CNG and was registered in Pune.
The bus is owned and maintained by a contractor identified as Anthony Garages Private Limited and is daily parked at Nigdi PMPML bus depot.
Meanwhile, the public transport body is facing multiple issues including its buses often catching fire, frequent breakdowns and unclean buses. The PMPML currently owns 1,450 buses in its fleet with the public transport body plans to increase the number up to 2,450 in coming two years.
Also, last year, the PMPML had conducted a special drive to assess the condition of buses and found that there are 12 common technical problems plaguing the fleet.