MANILA -- A bus burst into flames on the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) after Sales Bridge at around 5:57 a.m. on Sunday
The Jude Transit bus came from Legazpi City on its way to Cubao, Quezon City and was packed with passengers.
Several passengers told Skyway traffic officer Rowena Capalog, who was first to arrived at the scene, that they were in Alabang when they started hearing strange noises from the vehicle.
Upon reaching Bicutan, they said the noise became louder, likening the sound to that of a helicopter.
By the time they hit the Villamor exit, the passengers said they could already feel temperatures rise inside the bus, which alarmed several passengers seated near the front of the vehicle.
The driver stopped the bus. A passenger saw fire, causing others to panic. Some even jumped from the windows along with their children.
According to the bus driver Joel Daguiso, they were still at the tollgate when they heard a foul smell, followed by the sound of a blast, although they weren't sure what was going on.
According to him, he tried to kill the fire using a fire extinguisher but failed. It was already around 6:20 a.m. when staff from Villamor Air Base and Skyway arrived at the scene.
The entire northbound lane of SLEx had to be closed until the bus was removed.
No one was hurt in the fire, except from some chickens that were brought by a passenger.
The driver, Daguiso, who has been with company for 15 years, is now being held by the PNP-Highway Patrol Group, while the burnt bus was immediately brought to an impounding area. -- Report from Dennis Datu, radio Patrol 42