In a dreadful incident, a state-run CNG bus caught fire in Vijayawada area of Andhra Pradesh. The bus reportedly went up in flames at around 8.40 am on Tuesday near Siddhartha Medical College while it was plying between the Autonagar and Railway Station bus stops. The bus apparently caught fire because of leakage of CNG and was completely damaged within minutes.
Fortunately, there were no casualties, all thanks to the sharpness of the RTC bus driver, Akula Venkateshwarlu. The bus was carrying 70 passengers out of which 53 were school and college students.
Akula Venkateshwarlu’s timely call to evacuate and abandon the bus as soon as he suspected a gas leak helped save all the passengers. The bus had halted at the Siddharatha Medical College stop when the driver smelled gas. He trusted his gut feeling and instructed the conductor to get the bus evacuated immediately.
After Venkateshwarlu warned the conductor, the latter asked the passengers to get down promptly. After all the passengers, and the bus staff comprising the driver and conductor, got down, the bus was in flames within minutes. The fire department reached the spot in no time and took charge of the situation.
Akula Venkateshwarlu, a driver with Road Transportation since last 10 years told The News Minute that it was a lucky escape for him as well as the passengers. The hero and savior of 70 passengers seemed to be relieved after the narrow escape and said,
It was a great save. We were lucky enough to escape the fire accident unhurt, as the bus flared up within a minute or two, after we abandoned it.
Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation regional manager, P V Rama Rao, said this was the first accident of its kind. He further said that samples are being collected from the spot and an inquiry will be conducted to know the reasons that resulted in the accident.
Watch the video recording of the bus getting engulfed in fire: