Chennai: Nearly 40 passengers, mostly women, had a narrow escape when the engine of the MTC bus they were travelling in caught fire on Friday morning. The bus route No. S566A was going from Mangadu to Kovalam via Pallavaram and Tambaram. When the bus moved from Chromepet bus stop after taking in more passengers, the driver of the vehicle, Shiva (40), noticed smoke emanating from the engine.
According to local sources, most of the passengers were women and children who were returning from the nearby temple. The driver opened the doors immediately and the passengers disembarked before calling the fire service helpline.
The driver, meanwhile, used water to douse the flames and people from nearby shops joined in until the fire tenders arrived at the spot. Fire tenders from the Tambaram fire station came and doused the flames in minutes. Firemen at the spot said, “We reached in the nick of time. Had we been a little late the fire would have reached the diesel tank and it would have been a bigger disaster.”
Recounting the incident, Ratnasamy, a passenger who boarded the bus at Pallavaram, said, “There was a strange smell when I entered the bus. And as the driver closed the doors near Chromepet bus stop, it grew stronger.”...