One worker died and another 12 were injured in the rural area of Ituiutaba, in Tingulo Mineiro, after the bus transporting them was surrounded by a fire that hit the sugarcane fields next to them that Saturday (28/8). Workers tried to flee from the flames, but four people remained in the vehicle.
According to the Fire Department, the 16 people, workers at a plant, were transported to the workplace when the wind carried the fire that burned the plantation near the vehicle, which surprised the driver and passengers.
The dense smoke made visibility low and the flames left part of the workers in a panic. Thirteen of them landed and fled amid smoke and fire (see video below). One of the men, 50 years old, could not get out of the cloud of smoke and was burned to death. The other 12 had body burns and received on-site care. Then they were sent to hospitals in cities in the region.
The three other employees and the driver did not exit the bus initially and would have splashed themselves with water from the bottles they used at work. They left the vehicle when they realized they couldn’t stay inside any longer. More calmly they managed to escape the fire, which also consumed the bus.
Military personnel from Ituiutaba, Uberlndia and Araguari visited the site, located at KM 800 of the BR-365 highway, about 40 km from Ituiutaba, to attend to the incident.
In a statement, the Military Fire Department recommended that “in extreme situations like this, people remain inside the vehicles, keeping the air conditioning at maximum, with air recirculation”.
In a statement, the Veronese companies, which transported the workers, and the Ituiutaba Bioenergia plant lamented what happened and said they are providing “support to employees and their families.” Also according to the company, “the causes of the incident will be investigated”.