Nagpur News: As summer season starts, many city dwellers along with their children visit their native places. Railway reservations are not an easy cup of tea for all. With trains going full, people are left with no alternative but to use the Private Travels’ buses. Many of these buses offer wonderful services, including AC and Non-AC -Sleeper Coaches. This more than makes up for the train travel comforts.
However, many accidents have occurred in the past due to various reasons. Some can be attributed to human error, error in judgement or sometimes, travel bus becoming victims to other vehicle driver’s errors.
In the accident that occurred on the wee hours of May 29, 2014 involving Baba Travels bus bearing registration number MH-31/ CQ-2779, a fire broke out due to a short-circuit in the wirings of the Bus Air Conditioner. This caused a wild fire.
In an exclusive talk with Nagpur Today, Ashish Khilaria said that he had reserved a single berth in the Baba-Travel’s bus coming from Jalgaon to Nagpur. The bus was to its full capacity (i.e. 30 berths) and had started at the right time of 9:30 pm.
He said that he was awake till 10:30 pm after which he slept off. His sleep was disturbed when the cleaner shouted that Amravati has arrived and passengers of Amravati should alight. After that he dozed off to deep sleep. However, thick smoke and intense heat had woken him. All he could see was fire everywhere, thick billowing smoke and people shouting and screaming. This incident occurred at the wee hours (at 4:30 am) of May 29, 2014 near Talegaon.
Since, his berth was at the top, when he looked down, the lower berth was on fire. He somehow managed to rush to the front and managed to jump from the running bus. Though the bus driver tried to apply brakes, the speed prevented him from applying sudden brakes. Many passengers too were jumping from the running bus to save themselves.
Ashish Khilaria said that he is working as Regional Manager in the Neuro-Psychiatric Division of the Pharmaceutical Company La Renon Healthcare Pvt. Ltd based in Ahmedabad.
Ashish Khilaria has suffered 37% Superior to Deep Thermal Burns. 5% burns to his forehead, 6% to his left hand, 6% to his right hand, 10 % to his left leg and 10% to his right leg. Apart from the burn injuries, he has also suffered a L1 Fracture (spinal injury).
With a very grave face and tone he also related the incident of one of close friends who passed away in the fire along with his wife and one son. His voice cracked many times, when he was relating this event.
Ashish Khilaria said that one of his old colleagues when he was working with another Multi-National pharmaceutical company Sanofi Aventis named Chakradhar Bhagyavan, a Medical Representative of the company had joined Ashish Khilaria to come to Nagpur to visit some places in Nagpur. He said that Chakradhar, his wife and his two children were in the ill-fated bus. He said that Chakradhar, his wife and one of his sons died in the fire and only one son survived the fire and is admitted to the Central India Institute of Medical Sciences (CIIMS) and is said to be in critical condition.
The names of other passengers who are injured are as follows:
- Mayank Shukla
- Mohan Mandura,
- Rawal Pawane
- Jyoti Pawane
- Subhash Kotangale
- Sachin Dhankar
- Subhash Ghate
- Diwashish Bhagat
- Prasad Joshi
- Akash Jain
- Ashsih Khilaria
- Sandeep Wanjari
- Poonam Tiroda
The bus driver and conductor broke open the glasses and succeeded in saving 25 passengers out of 30 passengers on board. However 5 passengers are said to be badly burnt beyond recognition. Except two passengers who were brought to Nagpur, the remaining are said to be admitted in hospitals of Wardha.