Bus catches fire in Yishun
When bus driver Sri Shanker, 42, looked in his rear-view mirror yesterday and saw smoke coming out of the vehicle, his first thought was the safety of his six passengers.
He immediately stopped the 42-seater bus, which was heading to Johor Baru via the Causeway, at a bus stop along Yishun Avenue 5, and told the passengers to alight.
"I was scared, I saw the smoke and quickly told the passengers to get off the bus," he told The New Paper.
"They kept asking me why, so I told them that there might be a fire, and they should get as far away from the bus as possible."
Mr Sri Shanker, 42, the bus driver. TNP PHOTO: PHYLLICIA WANG
After getting off, they still stood near the bus, Mr Sri added.
"I had to chase them away, really tell them to go, before they moved away."
By then, a small fire had started at the rear of the Advance Coach service AC7 bus, which plies between Yishun and Johor Baru.
The outside of the bus after the fire. TNP PHOTO: PHYLLICIA WANG
Mr Sri, who said he has had safety training, tried to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher.
But the blaze got out of control and soon engulfed the bus.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) arrived soon after and put out the fire with two water jets.
An SCDF spokesman said it was alerted to the fire at around 4.30pm yesterday.
"We dispatched a fire engine, a Red Rhino and two fire bikes. The fire involved the engine compartment of the bus," he said.
"There were no reported injuries, and the cause of the fire is under investigation."
The inside of the bus after the fire. TNP PHOTO: PHYLLICIA WANG
When TNP arrived at the scene, the bus was charred and its windows were shattered. The seats were also burned, leaving only their frames.
Mr Sri said he had been a bus driver with SMRT for seven years before joining Advance Coach about five months ago.
He said: "It was scary because this is my first time experiencing something like this.
"At least everyone is safe, including the two aunties who were on the bus."