/ 5 February 2009

Bus passengers saved by ‘heroic’ driver

A fire on a Putco bus was extinguished by the quick action of its driver, Johannesburg emergency services (JEMS) spokesperson Percy Morokane said on Thursday.

Passengers alerted the driver that the engine, in the back, was smoking, shortly after 7am. The driver grabbed a fire extinguisher, found the engine engulfed in flames and quickly extinguished the blaze. None of the 60 passengers were injured.

The bus had been en route towards Sunninghill from Soweto. The fire started at 7.10am shortly before the Gordon Road Bridge near Roodepoort.

Morokane said the driver had previously worked for a petrol company and ”knew exactly what to do”.

”[JEMS] would like to comment and thank the drivers for his heroic efforts,” said Morokane.

”[The driver] prevented what may have been a major tragedy.”

It was believed the fire began when an oil leak in the engine ignited. — Sapa