Driver escapes unhurt after bus catches fire in Vatukoula

Driver escapes unhurt after bus catches fire in Vatukoula

By Alipate Narawa
Wednesday 02/08/2023

A bus driver escaped unhurt after the bus he was driving caught fire along Arya Samaj Road, Vatukoula.

Abinesh Kumar was driving the 30-seater Shaolin model bus, belonging to Baitul Transport Company Limited of Toko, Tavua yesterday afternoon when the incident happened.

Kumar says he had taken a school trip from Tavua to Vatukoula, dropped the students off and was returning to Tavua when the bus caught fire.

He says he saw smoke coming out from the dashboard area and stopped the bus to investigate and found wires burning which spread quickly aided by wind, sponges, aluminum floor and fibres inside the bus.

National Fire Authority CEO, Sowane Puamau says the National Command Centre received the call at 4.41pm and alerted the Tavua Fire Station crew about the incident who arrived at the scene at 4.49pm to find the bus fully engulfed in flames.

Puamau further says the brigade immediately used its tank supply to extinguish the fire.

He says the NFA also acknowledges the assistance of the Goldmine Rescue crew who also responded to the incident and provided water from their tank supply.

The CEO says no casualties were reported and the bus, which was not insured, sustained around 70 to 80 percent damage.

Investigations are being carried out to find out the probable cause of fire.

The NFA CEO has reiterated a call to bus owners and is encouraging them to service their buses well and ensure that proper electrical repairs are done by qualified automotive electricians.

He says under the National Fire Service Act, vehicles are classified as properties and bus owners must ensure that fire safety measures and mitigations are strictly followed for the safety of bus drivers and passengers.

Sowane adds in the event of a fire incident, please quickly call 910 and give our firefighters the quickest opportunity to attend to a fire incident.

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