Hyderabad: Passengers of a private bus in Andhra Pradesh had a narrow escape when their vehicle caught fire in Prakasam district early Wednesday, police said.
The bus, with 35 passengers onboard, was on its way from Chennai to Hyderabad. The vehicle suddenly caught fire at Chagallu area of the district on National Highway 5, about 350 km from here.
Noticing the smoke in the rear end of the bus, the passengers alerted the driver who immediately halted the bus. The passengers rushed out in panic. No one was injured.
Within minutes, flames engulfed the bus and it was completely gutted. The passengers, who lost all their belongings, alleged that fire-fighting personnel reached late.
State Transport Minister S Raghava Rao and two other state ministers P Pulla Rao and Palle Raghunath Reddy visited the accident site. They assured the passengers that the bus operator will be made to compensate for their lost belongings.
A newly-wed couple lost jewellery and other valuables worth Rs 10 lakh. Four students also lost their certificates.
The Nellore district deputy transport commissioner has been directed to conduct an inquiry into the incident.
This is the latest in a series of accidents involving private buses in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
On January 19, passengers of a bus had a lucky escape after it caught fire near Zaheerabad in Medak district of Telangana. The bus, belonging to a private travel company, was coming to Hyderabad from Mumbai.