Noticing that a taxi was spitting smoke and fumes, he instructed the cabbie and its passengers to dismount; seconds later, it burst into flames
It was a true Diwali miracle, brought about by the timely action and presence of mind showed by a traffic cop. Two female passengers and a cabbie narrowly escaped disaster last afternoon, when a traffic cop alerted them that their taxi was about to go up in flames.
Inferno: The Omni burst into flames, seconds after the cabbie and
passengers stepped out. Two fire engines from Fort came to douse the fire
Sumedh Jetithor was taking a break from his duty at the signal post opposite Haj house, and was on his way to the Colaba Traffic chowky for lunch, when he noticed fumes emanating from the Omni van, in which cabbie Kalim Ansari and his two female passengers sat. Driving up, he noticed that Ansari was pouring water over the engine, in an attempt to bring down its temperature.
Sensing danger, Jetithor drove up and instructed Ansari and his passengers to hop out of the vehicle. As soon as they emerged, it went up in flames. Traffic opposite the CST railway station was halted for almost 20 minutes after the blaze, as fire-fighters doused the flames.
A traffic cop said, "Jetithor was on his lunch break. The driver and the passengers are fortunate that the he saw smoke emerging from the van and instructed them to dismount."
Jetithor said, "Seeing that the van was emitting fumes, I immediately asked the driver and the passengers to get off. As soon as they hopped out, fire broke out in the van. It's a miracle that they all escaped unscathed. Two fire engines from Fort immediately came to douse the fire."
Ansari said, "I am very grateful to the traffic cop, our guardian angel, who saved me and my passengers on the eve of Diwali. Had Jetithor not alerted us to hop out of the van, I would have driven on, after pouring some water. The van is new. The fire may have been caused due to the close proximity of
the van's engine to a CNG cylinder."
R Nalawade, assistant police inspector, MRA Marg police station, said, "The incident had been reported in the police station. No case has been registered in this matter."
Additional Commissioner (Traffic), Brijesh Singh said, "We have taken note of the good work. The commissioner of police normally takes a note of the presence of mind displayed by cops."
Fort Fire Station officer Kishore Ghadigaonkar said, "The engine caught fire, and touched the pipeline of the CNG cylinder. This caused the blaze. Two fire engines were called to douse the flames. There were no casualties."