A 30-seater Toyota minibus which was travelling from Musanze District to Kigali, yesterday, caught fire, reducing it to ashes.
The incident occurred in Kivuruga sector, Gakenke District at around 10:30a.m.
Eye witnesses said the driver suddenly parked along the road, and then asked passengers to get out only to see flames engulf the bus moments later.
“We were on board and we saw the driver parking, no sooner had we been asked to get out than we saw the vehicle burning, it was for God’s mercy that we all survived the incident,” said one witness.
Chief inspector of Police Andre Hakizimana, the Northern Province Police Spokesperson, confirmed the incident, saying investigations on the cause of fire were still ongoing.
The vehicle, registration number RAB 004, belonged to Virunga Express, one of the transport agencies plying Kigali-Rubavu highway.
“Our preliminary suspesion is that the incident was due to mechanical fault but we are still investigating to know the exact cause,” said CIP Hakizimana.
It was not immediately clear how many people were on board but The New Times understands they were above 20.
Hakizimana urged vehicle owners, especially those in public transport, to always do regular inspection of their vehicles before they get on the roads.
Jean Ngendahimana, the driver of the ill-fated vehicle, could not comment on the matter.
Efforts to talk to Virunga Express officials were futile.
But it was said that the vehicle was insured.