Fifty children including six women teachers of a private school had a providential escape on Monday when the school bus by which they were returning home accidentally caught fire on the outskirts of the city.
The children from Navkis Public School were returning home around 4 pm when the incident occurred. Bus driver Madhu Kumar and helper Rajesh risked their lives and saved the children before the bus went up in flames. The bus driver Kumar who smelt something burn and looked into the bonnet to find a spark. Without losing a minute, he told all on board to get out of the vehicle and with the help of senior students and staff completed the evacuation of students, in just three minutes.
As soon as the evacuation process was over, the smoke got thicker and within no time the fire spread engulfed the bus and the bus was completely burnt. People alerted the fire-fighters and the fire-tenders from Saraswathipuram and Bannimantap Fire Stations who rushed to the spot, but by then 80 percent of the bus had been gutted and the fire was doused.
The school didn’t inform the parents about the incident immediately as the school authority felt it would create panic among the parents and they were told that the bus had developed a snag and the children would be dropped a little later. Some anxious parents on hearing about the incident rushed to the school and picked up their children. The other students were dropped off by the school management with alternative arrangements.