A smoking bus caused a scene on Bali’s Mandara Toll Road on Wednesday, as passengers had to be evacuated from the burning vehicle in the middle of the road.
Coming from the Nusa Dua direction, the bus suddenly experienced problems with its engine, which then triggered a fire.
PT Jasamarga Bali Tol spokesperson Putu Gandhi Ginatra confirmed the incident.
“It happened at 6:50am. The Mercy bus number B 7235 XA was carrying foreign passengers. Initially, the bus was coming from the direction of Nusa Dua, but before reaching the toll gate, the bus experienced engine problems. After awhile, the bus emitted thick smoke from the engine,” Gandi told Bali Post.
The bus driver pulled the vehicle over to try and prevent congestion and the foreign tourist passengers were made to get out.
A joint squad of police and military officers went to the location when they saw the incident. Eventually, the fire department arrived and put out the fire.
“After successfully extinguishing it, the bus was taken and secured at the Jasmarga Bali Toll (property),” Gandi said.
To avoid similar bus-catching-fire incidents, the head of Badung District Fire Department I Wayan Wirya says bus drivers need to be diligent with inspecting their vehicles regularly.
“Lucky with this incident there were no fatalities or injuries. The loss is understood to reach about IDR100 million (US$6,551),” he said.
If only this sort of incident would lead to an increased awareness amongst the relevant authorities that buses allowed on the road need to be held to a higher safety standard.
Wednesday’s burning bus is just one of many dangerous situations caused by buses that shouldn’t pass inspection, operating on Bali’s roads.
The worst accident in recent times was in April 2018 when a bus experienced brake failure on Jl. Uluwatu in front of GWK in Jimbaran, causing a nine-vehicle chain collision and killing one person.