2 men die in taxi fire on Penang bridge

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NIBONG TEBAL: Two men faced a fiery end in a taxi when its engine burst into flames, causing the entire vehicle to be ablaze at the 2.7km Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge (Batu Kawan-bound) here today.

While the victims – whose identities could not be ascertained – were burnt beyond recognition, the Proton Persona taxi is registered under A Gopal Krishnan, from Balik Pulau, Penang.

Seberang Perai Selatan district police chief Supt Shafee Abdul Samad said about 8am, a patrol staff for the bridge saw a man driving the taxi and parking it at the scene of the mishap.

He said another man was seated beside him.

“When the patrol staff member approached the taxi, he found it was locked and the windows drawn up, with the two men lying on the fully-reclined seats.

“Suddenly, the man heard a loud sound and saw raging flames coming from the engine compartment. He tried to put out the blaze but failed,” he added.

Shafee said based on closed-circuit television camera recorded footage, only the said staff was at the scene when the car was ablaze.

Meanwhile, Penang Fire and Rescue Department public relations officer Mohd Azman Hussin said the department despatched seven firefighters to the scene.

“Upon arrival, the taxi was ablaze and we managed to put out the fire within 13 minutes,” he said.

The charred remains of the victims were sent to the Seberang Jaya Hospital.