PESHAWAR: A Bus Rapid Transit bus caught fire near Gulbahar area here on Friday.
However, no one was hurt in the incident, which is the third of its kind since the inauguration of the mass transit facility on Aug 13.
TransPeshawar, a government-owned company managing the BRT operations, claims that only two incidents of bus fire had taken place.
Regarding the ‘second’ incident reported on Sept 2, it said it was not a fire and instead, there were ‘some sparks’, which were put out immediately.
A rescue official told Dawn that the Friday fire started in the back of the bus and it was put out within 10-15 minutes.
He said all commuters remained unhurt in the incident.
“Apparently, the fire started in the air-conditioner compartment,” he said.
According to a statement issued by the TransPeshawar here, a BRT bus suddenly caught fire at Gulbahar station.
TransPeshawar company says it is probing incident
The company said its rapid response team immediately reached the site and extinguished the fire with the help of others.
It said during the incident, all passengers remained safe and were evacuated from the bus and station on a ‘timely basis’, while the bus service resumed right after the fire was extinguished.
The TransPeshawar said an investigation was being made over the unfortunate and unforeseen incident.
“The bus manufacturing company officials have also reached Peshawar and are inspecting the affected two buses,” it said in the statement.
The company said a team of bus manufacturer was also ‘giving a deep look’ to all buses of Peshawar BRT.
It said the safety of passengers was its top priority and that the investigation into two previous fire incidents were being made in a transparent manner and the report would be shared with the concerns as soon as it was completed.
“The BRT buses are being maintained daily and in order to cater any emergency, situation department has its own rapid response team,” it said.
Videos of the fire shared on social media showed that smoke billowing out from the bus and panicked passengers scurrying out the vehicle.
Peshawar BRT was launched on Aug 13 and within a bus broke down near Gulbahar station, suspending the bus operation for over 30 minutes.
On the night of Aug 26, another bus caught fire on the University Road without anyone being hurt.
The company said the fire started at the battery compartment at the roof of the bus.
On Sept 2, there was fire on another bus owned by the company on Hayatabad feeder route; however, TransPeshawar claimed that it was not fire and only some sparks, which were put down there and then.
When contacted, a spokesperson for the company said it would be premature to say something about the cause of fire.
He, however, said the company was investigating the matter.
The spokesman also said a team of the bus manufacturer was also in the city to look into the fire incident.