A Jaguar bus on its way from Uganda’s capital Kampala destined for the eastern DR Congo city of Goma caught fire in Kisoro district Monday morning.
All the 40 passengers escaped unhurt.
The bus had left Kampala and was scheduled to pass through Kisoro, then to Gisenyi in Rwanda and finally to Goma.
But the long journey was cut short about 1km into Nyakabande Airstrip when the bus tyres caught fire, according to some of the passengers who were on board.
One of them told the press that the bus was travelling at a high speed at the time.
As soon as the waft of burning rubber caught the attention of the driver and passengers, the driver brought the bus to a halt, and told all 40 passengers to immediately alight with their luggage.
Shortly after the hasty emergency eviction, the bus went up in flames. This was around 6.30am local time.
Firefighters from Kisoro Fire Brigade were alerted and arrived at the scene about 15 minutes later. They managed to put out the fire but the damage had long been done.
It was a joint operation, with personnel from the airstrip providing more water to extinguish the disastrous blaze.
The passengers watched from a safe distance as the bus that had brought them all the way from Kampala was reduced to a huge charred metallic skeleton, with smoke.
A Jaguar Bus official said another bus was called in from Rwanda to get the passengers back on their journey. It was not immediately clear when exactly the emergency bus would arrive but there was no sense of panic among the travellers.
Most of them kept cool heads after what had just happened.
« I trust we will get to our final destination in one piece, » said one of them.