Commuters travelling in Bengaluru’s MG road and its vicinity were caught in a massive gridlock on Thursday evening. A large tree caught fire causing havoc in the Cariappa Memorial park region.
As it has become a practice in many parts of Bengaluru, the tree had become a dumping place and according to the police, someone lit the garbage, causing the tree to catch fire.
Branches from the burning tree fell on to the car, setting it ablaze.
Eyewitnesses told TNM that a few people took the courage to move the car and extinguish the fire, otherwise car would’ve exploded and caused injuries people around.
“We parked the car here and when we came back it was partially damaged. If it wasn’t for the construction workers who moved the car it would’ve damaged completely,” said the owner.
BBMP workers rushed to the spot and chopped the tree as it was dangerously poised, ready to fall anytime. Officials had to close the roads in and around the Cariappa Memorial region for some time as the tree was getting chopped, and cleared.
“We were controlling traffic and saw the fire. We called the fire force and they extinguished the fire. The waste dumped by furniture companies was accidently set on fire by someone. It seemed like the tree would fall after some time, so BBMP decided to chop it down” said a police officer overseeing the removal.
Many blamed the BBMP for allowing indiscriminate dumping of waste around trees and not for taking note of the huge pile of waste. “Timely action by police officers and construction workers around the area limited the damage and stopped fire from spreading to the surrounding areas,” a commuter said.
“We were working nearby when we saw fire, we came with our fire extinguishers and moved the car that was ablaze,” said Alfred Thomas who was one of the first to react.
The tree fell around 4.30 pm and BBMP authorities said it would take around 2 hours to chop it down and resume traffic.