Bus driver dies after being set on fire
A bus driver in Brisbane, Australia, has died after a passenger set him on fire, police said Friday.
Authorities launched a homicide investigation after the incident, which saw the driver pronounced dead at the scene. Australian media has identified the victim as 29-year-old Manmeet Alisher.
The bus, which was picking up passengers in the Moorooka suburb at around 9 a.m., was carrying several passengers.
A man got on board and threw “some type of incendiary device” at the driver, Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said.
The device caused “a small fire,” according to a police statement. A 48-year-old man was arrested at the scene and was being interviewed by police.
‘Open the back door’
The passengers managed to escape the bus through a rear door, assisted by a taxi driver who saw the incident.
“I was walking to the bus stop, trying to get to the taxi rank when I saw a bus pull in,” the taxi driver, named as Aguek Nyok, told CNN affiliate 7 News.
“When I looked at the back door, people were lining up trying to get out, but they can’t.
“The only thing I can hear is ‘open the back door, open the back door.'”
No evidence of terror links
The motive for the attack was unclear, Stewart said, but added that there was no evidence that there were terror links, or any racial motive involved. Six people were treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation.
Police Superintendent Jim Keogh spoke to media at the scene.
“Words escape me, it’s a horrific incident,” he said. “A bus driver going about doing his business, supporting the community and has his life taken from him in a senseless and needless act.”
The attack comes on the heels of another fatal incident that has rocked Australia, with the death of four adults on a theme park ride at the Dreamworld park in Coomera, Gold Coast, Queensland.
“This week has been particularly difficult for many Queenslanders, as well as many visitors to our great state,” Stewart said.
By Euan McKirdy