Passengers unhurt as bus catches fire

SEVENTY-FIVE people escaped unhurt when the bus in which they were travelling caught fire near Polokwane, Limpopo.

The commuters were on their way to various workplaces when the bus burst into flames at about 7am yesterday.

The incident happened on the N1 road between Matoks and Polokwane.

A quick response from the Polokwane fire team resulted in the fire being brought under control and the bus had to be towed to Polokwane.

According to the manager for the provincial department of roads and transport, Gordon Horn, one of the bus tyres went flat and ended up having a blow out which caused the fire. He said it appeared that the driver might have driven for a long distance unaware that the tyre was flat.

The bus belonged to the Bahwaduba Bus Services which is partly owned by the Zion Christian Church.

"The bus was ferrying passengers from Matoks in Botlokwa to their workplaces in Polokwane when it experienced the fire," Horn said.

"We are happy that this time we are not talking about any fatalities as all passengers escaped unharmed."

According to Horn, it was just a freak accident which could not be avoided.

Incidentally, the accident happened a few metres from the scene of a previous crash involving a Bahwaduba bus with a truck in July.

Nine people were killed during the collision.