7 Volvo buses gutted in Ongole

Fire personnel trying to put off fire

 Fire personnel trying to put off fire 


  • One more bus burnt partially in the fire in Ongole
  • All the buses belong to a private travel company
  • While fire department suspect 'manual interference', police say so far they have found nothing to suspect deliberate fire

Ongole: Seven private Volvo buses were completely gutted while one burnt partially in a huge fire here in Prakasam district on Tuesday.

The incident occurred near wood complex area in Ongole where private travel operators had parked their vehicles.

Fire fighting personnel doused the fire with the help of five fire tenders. The municipal authorities also deployed their water tankers to douse the fire. Huge flames engulfing the buses sent panic among people in nearby areas.

All buses gutted in the fire belonged to V Kaveri Travels. The operator said they had parked buses there due to the drop in demand due to Covid-19 pandemic.

However, suspicions are being expressed over the cause of fire. The private bus operators keep their buses in the open ground at the wood complex in Ongole. The area is surrounded by timber depots and other workshops. Due to Covid and increase in expenditure, the company is not operating the buses and kept them in the shed for the past two years. There was a watchman for the vehicles, for the protection of the buses.

On Tuesday, the locals observed smoke emanating from the place, but by the time they reacted two buses caught fire. The fire department was called for help and they reached with three fire tenders in Ongole and one each from Addanki and Tangutur. They are able to extinguish fire by spraying foam and water on the eighth bus, while seven others were completely reduced to ashes.

Ongole fire officer K V T Prasada Rao said that they suspect that the fire was caused by manual interference like someone must have thrown a lit cigarette as there was no chance of short circuit.

He said that they are requesting the police department for a forensic study to assess the cause of the fire, as per the procedure.

However, Ongole Taluka police CI V Srinivasa Reddy said that the fire mishap was an accident.

When questioned how sure it was an accident, he said that after investigation, they may change the section if any clue leads of manual interference.

He said that they received a complaint that damage of Rs 3.25 crore occurred in the accident. But, the locals and fellow bus operators believe that the fire is deliberate. They said that the travels company is in operational losses and is experiencing pressure from the financers for repayment of loans.

The fire officer also informed that the friend of the owner claimed that owner has been planning to sell vehicles for a long time, but buyers showed interest in only two buses, that were already burnt in the incident. He said that the police should find out whether it is really an accident or an deliberate act for insurance money.

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