Herald News

48 students, 3 teachers on picnic escape as bus catches fire

11 Nov 2017 06:21am IST

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Team Herald

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11 Nov 2017 06:21am IST

Report by
Team Herald

PANJIM: Forty eight students and three teachers, en-route to Campal from Porvorim for a picnic, had a narrow escape when the engine of the bus caught a minor fire and the vehicle was engulfed in smoke.

PANJIM: Forty eight students and three teachers, en-route to Campal from Porvorim for a picnic, had a narrow escape when the engine of the bus caught a minor fire and the vehicle was engulfed in smoke.

Panjim Police and the Fire Safety personnel said one teacher was shifted to Goa Medical College and Hospital after she fainted inhaling the smoke. She was later discharged.

The incident occurred at around 9.54 am when the driver of the bus saw a spark near the battery when the bus was at the Patto Bridge and stopped the vehicle. “Driver Pradeep Volvoikar saw the spark. The cabin then caught fire, though it was not major. He helped the teachers and a school staff to evacuate the students. People gathered and managed to contain the minor fire before the fire tender reached the spot,” said a police officer. The private bus was hired by the school for the picnic. 

The students of Class III and Class IV of Young Achievers School, Porvorim, were accompanied by three teachers and one staff at the time of the incident. 

A student Herald spoke to said they were frightened after seeing the smoke. “There was fire in the bus and it was full of smoke and the teachers started removing us out of the bus. We were very scared and everyone was shouting,” said a student.

Another student said the teachers told them not to panic. “Teachers told us not to be scared and started removing us but Teacher Savia fainted there,” he said.

The Panjim Fire Station said that they rushed their fire tender to the spot but the situation had been brought under control by the general public. “The fire was due to short circuit,” an officer said

The incident led to a massive traffic jam that was about 5-7 kms long and delayed traffic for nearly an hour and a half. Traffic Police were deployed to ensure smooth movement of traffic. 

The bus occupants were shifted to another bus from where they were taken to Campal. The bus was later towed to the town police station for inspection by RTO officials. 

Panjim Police Inspector Siddhant Shirodkar said they have registered a case of ‘fire accident’. “We are investigating the case. As of now, statements of teachers have been recorded,” he said.

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