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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Buses catching fire and '4 buses set ablaze' at Kanchipuram

There are accidents and sometimes accidental fire ~ sometimes you see or hear of vehicles catching fire with not identifiable causes.

A vehicle fire is an undesired conflagration (uncontrolled burning) involving a motor vehicle. Also termed car fire or auto fire, it is one of the more common causes of fire-related property damage. Automobiles can catch fire for all sorts of reasons. Most of the time, it is because of accidents. If a car gets hit in its gas tank or the engine has taken a severe hit, a slight spark or electrical impulse, such as when batteries get ruptured, can cause a fire. Poorly maintained cars can catch fire too. Leaking gas lines, head gaskets, cracked blocks, cracked radiators, leaking fuel lines,  improper electrification, wrongly connected wires and the list goes on, are all potential fire hazards. Usually heat and electrical sparks plus a leaking automotive fluid (doesn't matter which one) is all it takes for a vehicle fire to start.

Just like our National and State Highways, there are the Interstate ways in USA.  Interstate 5 in Washington (I-5) is a 276.62-mile (445.18 km) highway in the U.S. state of Washington that extends from its border with Oregon to its border with Canada.  Recently, an articulated bus on this route caught fire; it was reported that all of its passengers were safely evacuated.  The bus was engulfed fire after all of them got to safety.  Sure lot of property could have been lost besides the value of the truck itself.  

In one of different kind, four buses were on fire at Kanchipuram as reported in Deccan Chronicle and many other newspapers.  DC reports that in an apparent act of sabotage, miscreants set fire to four buses of state transport corporation parked at Kanchipuram bus terminus on Tuesday morning. Transport authorities suspect the involvement of disgruntled employees, even as police are probing various angles including sabotage and involvement of a political party.

Transport sources told DC that they suspected involvement of miscreants and insisted that the fire was not caused by any technical defect. “This is clearly an act of sabotage as the fire broke out at a seat on the left side of the bus which spread to other parts of the vehicle as well as to three other buses parked nearby,” said an official of Villupuram corporation. Police said the incident occurred around 1.30 am at the bus terminus where a few dozens of buses were parked. On Monday night, 50 buses were parked in and around the terminus from where Villupuram Corporation operates over  100 buses.  Sources state that around 12.30 am a driver alerted authorities after noticing the fire on the bus parked nearby the terminus. Soon they put out the fire after which the bus was parked inside. After an hour, depot authorities were woken up by the scream of a tea stall employee who rushed to inform them that four buses including the one which was set ablaze a short while ago were on fire, said the officials.

On information, fire personnel rushed to the spot and doused the fire, but flames engulfed the interiors of four buses. Police officers including K.N. Sathiyamurthy, DIG, Kanchipuram and district S.P. Xavier Dhanraj conducted inquiries with transport employees and eye witnesses.  Police sources maintained that they did not rule out the possibilities of involvement of transport employees, and members of any communal or social outfits in the incident.

The fire at Kanchi bus depot has brought to fore the lack of security measures at bus termini across the state. Sources in the corporation pointed out that several bus termini lack guards despite several dozens of buses being parked during night. It is stated that Corporation has suffered a loss of over Rs 20 lakh in the Kanchipuram mishap. “A bus chassis costs around Rs 7 lakh while the body works cost ranges from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh. In this case, the loss is estimated to be over Rs 25 lakh,” said a senior official. Worse, the cash-starved corporation cannot even claim the insurance. “The state government buses cannot claim the loss to the insurance companies, as they do not insure state-run buses,” he lamented [source]

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
13th Feb 2013.


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