Bus burns on South Cotabato highway

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/4 June) – A passenger bus was totally burned after catching fire while traveling along the national highway in Tantangan town, South Cotabato province on Monday afternoon.

Fire Insp. Russel Basuel, chief of the Tantangan municipal fire station, said Tuesday the Husky Tours bus unit was on its way to Cotabato City via Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat when it went up in flames in Barangay Magon around 3:25 p.m.

He said the bus, with registration plate MWB 724 and body number 4588, came from this city and just made a stop at the Koronadal City integrated transport terminal.

Based on accounts from Husky bus driver Abdulmanan Kindi, Basuel said one of the passengers noticed that the rear portion of the vehicle was heating up while it was passing by Barangay Magon.

The official said that after being told of the situation, Kindi stopped the bus by the roadside and safely evacuated all its 40 passengers.

“They then saw fire coming out of the rear portion and spreading to the other parts of the bus,” he told reporters.

Basuel said they were able to respond to the scene after being alerted by nearby residents led by Magon barangay chair Musa Magon.

He said their firefighters were not able to save the bus as the fire spread rapidly and was in “fully developed stage” when they arrived.

Citing their investigation, Basuel said the fire could have been caused by faulty electrical connections at the engine.

Kindi saw some electrical sparks at the wires going to the battery when the bus unit was starting to burn, he said.

He said the bus reportedly underwent a check and minor repairs on the electrical connections of its engine at their base here prior to the trip.

Basuel said the bus company has to yet to submit a report as to the value of the damage to the unit.

Husky Tours is operated by the Biocrest Multi-Purpose Cooperative, a cooperative formed by the officers of Biocrest Corporation and Eleventh Corporation based in this city. (MindaNews)