As many as 41 passengers and 2 bus crew had a miraculous escape from government bus plying between Villupuram and Chennai at Melmaruvathur when the bus caught fire accidentally on Wednesday morning.

A Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) bus went up in flames in the middle of the road and at least 49 passengers the bus running staffs were narrowly escaped as the incident took place at the Melmaruvathur bus terminus at 8.15am. No one was injured in the accident. However, fire has gutted almost all the parts of the vehicle leaving it a skeleton within half-an-hour.

 A team of fire and rescue personnel from the Achirapakkam fire station rushed to the place and they put down the fire. Before they arrived at the scene, fire spread to all the seats and the floor of the vehicle and everything burnt fully. Only the exterior green paint of the vehicle remained as the fire personnel poured water to quench the fire blazes.

The bus driver P Neelakantan, 45, and the conductor V Kaliaperumal, 39, both are natives of Villupuram, were assisted the passengers to get down from the bus.

Neelakantan told the Melmaruvathur police inspector Venkatesan that he noticed thick smoke emanated from the engine room next to the driver seat, when he stopped the bus briefly to drop the passengers at the Melmaruvathur bus terminus.

As soon as he saw the smoke and fire blazes, he alerted the passengers to get down from the vehicle. By the time all the passengers got down , the engine was caught in the fire blaze and it spread to the seat and floor of the vehicle.