Abdul Wahab Khan | NT
PANAJI: The fire department has said that a total of 245 vehicles caught fire in the state over the last two years. The fire department officials said that almost ten cases of vehicle fires were reported each month since 2016, raising questions about the safety of the occupants in the vehicles, including passengers travelling by public transport.
In the year 2016, a family had a narrow escape at Pali-Bicholim when their car on the move caught fire suddenly. The car was totally damaged.
Similarly, in May last year, a tragedy was averted when a tourist taxi caught fire soon after the taxi driver got down from the car to answer nature’s call. The incident occurred around 1 am on the four-lane NH17B road, near Naval Supply Depot.
In yet another incident that took place this year on Wednesday, the workers of a private firm had a narrow escape after the bus they were travelling in caught fire while proceeding towards Bicholim. All passengers were evacuated safely from the company’s bus. The intensity of the fire was such that the entire bus was completely damaged.
According to officials of the department, the main causes for fire in vehicles were loose connections in the fan pumps, radiator, plugs and ignition wires since they do not have a proper grip system. Besides, the hose pipes, diesel pipes, cracks in rubber tubes and leaks of burning combustion gases around loose spark plugs are among the other causes that can cause fire, they added.
The fire officials said that vehicles should be serviced on time, preferably at every 10,000 kilometres. Besides, the wires should be insulated properly to prevent them from catching fire due to sparks. The fire officials also said that the vehicle owners, for their own safety, should install handy fire extinguishers in the vehicles to douse flames or break glass in case they get trapped inside.
Experts say that cars and buses tend to catch fire either due to prolonged delay in servicing, tinkering by roadside mechanics, loose connections or fitment of components at unauthorised workshops that compromise the safety of vehicles.
It is quite common for the vehicle owners to go to unauthorised workshops to cut cost of maintenance of vehicles after they exhaust free servicing at company workshops. The unskilled workers at such workshops tend to neglect maintenance, as they are not professionally trained thereby compromising the safety of the vehicles.
Besides, many a time the unauthorised workshops do not have genuine spare parts and spurious parts and oils are used while carrying out maintenance work. There are also cases of owners getting high-intensity bulbs installed which can develop cracks and catch fire.
According to experts, the sources of ignition and fire in vehicles include the electrical circuits and overheating of engine parts or fuel lines or exhaust systems. The other sources include cigarettes, lighter or a flame from incense sticks, which many people use in a car, and which can spread fast and engulf the whole car.
Source:: The Navhind Times