Incident occurred near the domestic airport during peak hours yesterday; it could have been worse had the fuel tank exploded
In a freak incident, the engine of a black Indica caught fire close to the domestic airport on the jam-packed Western Express Highway around 9.20 am yesterday. There were two people inside the Bandra-bound car its driver and a passenger, who was reading a newspaper in the back seat when the fire started.
Passers-by inspect the charred remains of the car. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
According to the passenger, the car had stalled on the second lane of the WEH. “The moment the driver tried to start the car, it caught fire. The driver screamed and asked me to exit the vehicle immediately. I saw flames leaping out out from the car’s engine,” he said.
Within minutes, the car, which was purchased five years ago, was engulfed in flames. As the duo scampered for safety, vehicles behind them began moving into the neighbouring lanes as a precautionary measure. The Indica was reduced to a mass of steel by the time firemen reached the spot to douse the flames. “Thank god no one was injured in the mishap,” the passenger said.
Fire officials said that the situation would have been much graver had the petrol tank exploded. They said the driver and passenger could have died and motorists in vehicles close to the Indica would have been injured had that happened. “Thankfully, the petrol tank didn’t explode. The driver had just got fuel filled at Goregaon,” said the passenger.
Long line of cars
By the time firemen brought the situation under control, the traffic jam had reached Goregaon. To make matters worse, callous motorists began halting and clicking pictures of the charred vehicle to upload them to social networking sites. This aggravated the jam further. Traffic cops said they were only able to bring traffic under control once the burnt vehicle was shifted onto the nearby service road.
An official from the Vile Parle police station said, “There was a short circuit in the vehicle, which is registered in the name of one Supriya Shashidhar. We have registered a case of accident.”