Residents of Laastehoop village just outside of Polokwane along the R71 woke up to one of Great North Transport’s (GNT) buses burning in the early hours of last Wednesday.
The bus was stationed next to Malatswa High School when residents noticed it had caught fire.
One of the eyewitnesses says it was around 06:30 when he left his home towards the school when he noticed the bus was engulfed in flames.
“My initial reaction was fear that someone might still be stuck inside the burning bus.
When I got closer it looked as if no one was in the bus and the driver was trying to put out the fire using the fire extinguisher. The fire became aggressive and the driver stopped trying to put it out as he was at risk of getting injured.”
He says the residents started gathering around the bus trying to see what had happened, while others also assisted the driver trying to douse the flames.
He says eventually the crowd gave up and started dispersing. “When I got back from work later that evening the structure of the burnt bus was still on the side of the road but there was nobody there.”
GNT Spokesperson Patrick Monkoe says the bus was from Laastehoop operational area heading to Polokwane.
“It is unfortunate that the fire grew at a rapid speed and the driver was unable to put it out using the fire extinguisher.
“He had no option but to get out of the bus in order to ensure his safety.”
According to Monkoe there were no fatalities or injuries sustained during the fire. “Although passengers were negatively affected by the incident, there was another bus operating in the area which was dispatched to assist the passengers to their respective destinations.”
Monkoe says it was one of the old Scania buses and it has since been replaced by a bus which was dispatched to operate in the area.
Story: Umpha Manenzhe
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