2 dead, 4 hurt in bus fire
A Bureau of Fire Protection officer inspects the bus that caught fire in Barangay Greater Fairview, Quezon City yesterday. At right, vehicles slow down along Commonwealth Avenue due to the incident.
Michael Varcas

2 dead, 4 hurt in bus fire

Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - January 4, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Two persons died and four others were injured when a passenger bus caught fire yesterday along Commonwealth Avenue in Barangay Greater Fairview, Quezon City.

According to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the bus carrying about 20 people, including the driver and conductor, caught fire along Pearl Drive at around 12:39 p.m.

The BFP said the fire, which reached the first alarm was declared out at around 1:20 p.m.

According to arson probers, the fatalities were trapped in the burning vehicle.

Chief Insp. Joseph del Mundo, Quezon City BFP operations head, said the victims were a female bus conductor and a male passenger.

Citing witnesses’ accounts, Del Mundo said the passenger allegedly doused the conductor with a flammable substance and set her on fire after they reportedly locked horns for an unknown reason.

Del Mundo said the bus driver tried to pacify the two and attempted to push the conductor out of the vehicle.

“The driver tried to push the conductor outside, but he was stopped by the passenger. That’s why the conductor was not able to head out of the bus,” Del Mundo said in an interview on dzBB.

Del Mundo said shortly after, the passenger set himself on fire.

Four others including the driver were injured, according to the BFP.

“The passengers immediately jumped out of the bus based on videos. There were also reports that there were people trapped while the bus was on fire,” Barangay Fairview fire and rescue response team said.

Witnesses said the passenger used gasoline.

Del Mundo, however, said they have yet to determine the substance used by the passenger as they were still gathering evidence.

Witnesses were also invited by authorities for questioning, the BFP said.

Probers said they would investigate how the passenger was able to bring into the bus the flammable substance, which is prohibited.

Del Mundo said they could not identify the passenger as his belongings were also burned.

The passenger’s remains were turned over to the Quezon City police.

“Police are still waiting for relatives to claim the body for them to identify it,” Del Mundo said.

The identity of the bus conductor is also unknown.

The BFP said it took two fire trucks and several volunteers to put out the fire. Damage was estimated at P50,000.

Those injured were taken to nearby hospitals by responding ambulances.

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