Tragedy averted: 45 passengers rescued from burning bus
NEW DELHI: It would have been a massive tragedy of many deaths and front page news of many newspapers,if some locals and police staff had not acted in a lightening speed to save the lives of 45 passengers trapped inside a burning bus in Pul Praghladpur of South Eastern Delhi on Tuesday night.
The bus was returning from a marriage party from Faridabad and going towards Jaitpur when the incident took place. It was the brave efforts of the toll tax collectors and the police staff that averted a major tragedy.
The bus ferrying a marriage party returning from Faridabad in Haryana, caught fire as it approached Surajpur Border Police picket near Pul Prahladpur.
The time was 1:30 am on Tuesday night and close to 45 passengers were onboard, most of them were women. As the bus caught fire, the driver of the bus jumped out and ran. However as the fire intensified, the doors of the bus got locked trapping all 45 passengers inside.
"The bus was full of smoke inside and the fire that has spread from the engine soon engulfed the whole bus. We rushed to get mineral water kept for drinking purpose and tried to douse off the flames.
"We soon realised that this was not enough and we had to rescue the passengers in fire before get too late. We changed strategy then and rushed to get rods and broke the glass and twisted the iron grills," said Dipesh Bhati, a Toll Tax Supervisor, who was the first one to rush to rescue the passengers.
Soon the toll staffs, who were joined by the Police police picket staff of Pul Prahladpur, poured as much water as they could spread on the burning bus. Some men also climbed the bus and tried to break the windows' iron grills risking their lives to save the trapped passengers.
"The voices inside were getting louder. They were shouting for help. We somehow managed to break open the windows and pull the passengers out, said Dipesh.
The policemen too were seen rescuing the passengers and trying to douse off the flames. Thanfully, all passengers escaped with minor injuries.
"The Police team of Pul Prahalad Pur, The Border toll staff and some public persons reacted immediately and rescued all passengers from the bus by breaking the glasses of windows. The action was so prompt that the rescue work was done before receiving the PCR call.
"The bus was completely burnt. Two fire tenders later reached at spot and doused fire," DCP South-East Chinmoy Biswal said.