Traffic has been partially restored on the Sirat Expressway, after a tour bus burst into flames north of Bangkok’s Krung Thep Apiwat Central Station this morning.
The bus, which was covered in flames, caused heavy traffic congestion at the end of the queue extending to Rama VI road.
The latest report indicates that the fire has been extinguished. Thankfully, there have been no reports of injuries or fatalities.
The incident trended on Thai Twitter today with the hashtag #Fire, as many onlookers posted videos of the bus.
ตอนนี้รถติดยาวเลย ไฟยังไหม้บนรถอยู่ pic.twitter.com/Mn32Iqz72E— octopatr (@octopatr) June 7, 2023
Bus driver Kwatchit Aiyu, 46, told reporters that he had departed from a hotel in Makkasan Subdistrict, and was transporting a group of 15 tourists from Poland and a Thai tour guide to Ayutthaya Province.
He noticed smoke and a strong burning smell coming from the luggage compartment. Consequently, he pulled the bus over to the left and got out to inspect the situation, asking the tourists to exit the bus as well. He managed to retrieve some of the tourists’ bags, while some had come in contact with the fire.
The bus sustained severe damage, with the steel frame of the roof melted, both front tires shattered, and glass scattered all over the road. The bus is beyond repair and will not return to service. The bus was not able to be immediately towed, leading to a significant traffic congestion.
Authorities have yet to confirm the cause of the fire, but given where the flames originated from it’s likely that a passenger had brought a flammable item in their luggage.
Highway police confirmed the fire has now been completely subdued but there may still be some debris blocking the road.
The driver has cooperated with the police but no charges have been filed yet. Further investigation is required to determine whether he was involved in any wrongdoing.
The bus belonged to a private tour company, and not part of the regular interprovincial bus service.