A bus carrying 70 passengers including school children had a narrow escape as it went up in flames on Tuesday, 29 August in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. The quick action from the bus driver saved all the passengers aboard.
Akula Venkateshwarlu suspected that the bus was leaking gas on the day of the accident at around 8:30 am. Once it moved a few meters, he smelled gas and stopped the bus at the Siddhartha Medical College stop.
The state-run city bus was plying on National Highway between Autonagar to the Railway station. Relying on his instinct, Venkateshwarlu immediately stopped the bus and asked the conductor and the passengers to evacuate at once.
“After the driver informed me, I instantly, asked the passengers to leave the bus. After getting down, within two minutes, the entire bus was engulfed in the horrible fire,” said M Sireesha, the conductor of the bus, reported The News Minute.
In the meantime, the fire service department was also informed by bystanders who were present there and they reached the spot within minutes.
K Srinivasa Rao, the Fire Station Officer Autonagar, Vijayawada said while talking to The Logical Indian, “We got a call from the public around 8:30 am in the morning. Since the spot is only two kms away from the fire service station Vijayawada, we managed to reach there in no time.” He further added that it took us 20 to 30 minutes to control the fire.
Venkateshwarlu has been working as a driver for Road Transport corporation for the past ten years now. He said that it was a lucky escape for him and the passengers.
“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.” Venkateshwarlu told The News Minute.
P V Rama Rao (Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) APSRTC Regional Manager addressed the issue and said that the incident is being investigated as it was the first such incident to take place. Samples of the bus were collected to get the actual reason of the problem.
District Fire Officer, Vijayawada said, “We are investigating the matter of what caused the accident. We are grateful at the same time that no one was hurt and the situation was tackled in time.”
The Logical Indian commends Akula Venkateshwarlu for saving 70 innocent lives. We also appreciate the speedy actions taken by the Fire service authorities of Vijayawada who reached the spot on time and tackled the situation.