Video | 3 charred to death as bus catches fire near Bathinda
Three persons were charred to death while 23 others suffered injuries when an air-conditioned bus of a private firm caught fire at Rampura Phul, around 35km from district headquarters Bathinda, on Saturday evening.
The bus of Raiya Transport Company (RTC) coming from Bathinda to Ludhiana caught fire around 7pm near the railway crossing. The fire that started from the rear of the bus — where the engine is housed — engulfed the bus immediately. Fire tenders were rushed to the spot and it took them over two hours to douse the flames. The deceased are yet to identified.
Rampura Phul sub-divisional magistrate Narinder Singh Dhaliwal said three of the injured are in a serious state and have been referred to the Bathinda civil hospital, while the rest are admitted to the Rampura Phul civil hospital.
He said it was yet to be ascertained how the fire started and how many passengers were travelling in the bus.
According to eye witnesses, the bus caught fire from the rear end, but the vehicle kept moving for another 300 metres till the flames engulfed it.
The driver of the bus jumped out and fled the spot. The doors of the air-conditioned bus got jammed and the toll could have been higher but for the locals who rushed to the aid of those trapped and rescued them by breaking the window panes, police said. The dead were charred beyond recognition, police added.
(with PTI inputs)