A short circuit had ignited the fire that burnt the Subash Transport bus in Phuentsholing on December 1 morning, according to police findings.

The short circuit had triggered the ignition, causing the bus to move and hit the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) RSTA building.

A joint investigation led by the Phuentsholing RSTA, traffic police, State Trading Corporation of Bhutan Limited (STCBL), and Royal Insurance of Bhutan Limited (RICBL) found no foul play with the bus incident.

It was found that the coaster bus was off road for almost 15 days due to maintenance works. The maintenance works were done across the border in Jaigaon.

Although it was difficult to confirm the actual cause of the fire, STCBL concluded that rodents could have entered the bus and damaged the electrical wirings. Shortly after the completion of maintenance works, the bus had undergone water servicing, wherein short circuit might have ignited fire in the bus, the investigation report states.

“Since the vehicle was seven years old, there could have been tears in the hood due to weight carried and water could have accumulated in the switch box located at the dashboard causing short circuit,” the report stated.

The bus was parked and left in the gear mode and the heat generated through the fire started the engine, the report says.

The two eyewitnesses, RSTA building’s caretaker Pemba Tamang and Tsheten Tshering, a bus driver, in their statement said the bus’s dashboard was on fire when they saw the vehicle. Then the bus engine started on its own and raced towards RSTA building.

The bus was completely burned and also damaged a portion of RSTA building’s ground floor.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing