A woman was burnt to death while another male passenger suffered severe burns as a fire engulfed a parked luxury bus in Surat’s Varachha area on Tuesday, 18 January, The Indian Express reported.
Chief Fire Officer of Surat, Basant Pareek, said, there were around 15 passengers in the bus when it caught fire, which quickly spread in the vehicle.
He added that although most passengers could alight in time, a woman and a man got stuck in the burning bus. While the woman died, some people managed to pull the man out of the bus, who suffered severe burn injuries, NDTV reported.
According to locals, a few passengers were there in the bus when it started its journey towards Bhavnagar from the Katargam area.
'A Spark in the Engine Area Started the Blaze'
The luxury private bus, which was heading to Saurashtra, belonged to Rajdhani Travels.
It was waiting for passengers at Hirabag Circle at around 9:30 pm when there was a sudden spark, followed by a blast, after which the bus was engulfed in flames.
Sources from the fire department of the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) said that the bus had only one exit and entry door. The passengers called out for help when the fire broke out.
Several passers-by began the rescue process before the fire personnel could arrive. Sources said that the passengers, with the help of passers-by, broke open the windows to escape the blaze.
Pareek was further quoted as saying, "We believe a spark in the engine area started the blaze. The fire spread after it caused an explosion in the AC compressor of the vehicle. Due to presence of foam and other synthetic materials in the bus, the fire spread very quickly," NDTV reported.
As the blaze was brought under control, the fire personnel found the body of a woman inside the bus, and another passenger who incurred severe burns.
The identity of the deceased and the injured are not yet known. They were shifted to SMIMER hospital for treatment. The fire department is in contact with other passengers who are safe.