Hubballi: A private inter-state bus carrying passengers to Udupi from Pune caught fire here late Saturday night.
A blaze was noticed on the bus belonging to Reshma Travels when it reached the bypass road near the toll gate of Karwar Road here.
The fire started after a rear tyre burst, which reportedly led to a short circuit. Within a short time, the fire engulfed the whole bus.
Fortunately, the timely action by the bus staff prevented the incident from becoming a major tragedy. The driver of the bus woke up more than 30 passengers that were on the bus and asked them to evacuate. They narrowly escaped death as the fire soon engulfed the entire bus.
Fire brigade personnel were called in and the fire was later extinguished.
Halehubballi police visited the scene of the mishap and are investigating, sources said.