The life of an Indian-Australian bus driver ended in a horrifying manner when a passenger boarded the vehicle during a stop in Moorooka and doused the man behind the wheel with an inflammable liquid.
Manmeet Alisher, a 29-year-old member of the Punjabi ex-pat community, was burnt to death in front of horrified passengers who were lucky to escape just in time.
As the reports suggest, the bus has stopped to pick up three passengers.
“At that time one of the passengers entered onto the bus and poured a flammable liquid onto the driver and subsequently the driver was set alight and is now deceased,” said Queensland Police Superintendent Jim Keogh. “The fire was substantial; he would have stood little chance.”
Authorities are still trying to reach the victim’s relatives.
Meanwhile, the police arrested a 48-year-old man from the crime scene — the alleged perpetrator is now being treated for burns in the Princess Alexandra hospital. The law enforcement officials claim the attack was random and, so far, without any obvious motive.
However, considering how hate attacks — particularly against South Asians (since racists consider them all Muslims) — have been on a rise lately, this could be just another terrifying example of xenophobia and discrimination.
My heart goes out to the Australian Punjabi community who are grieving the horrific murder of one of their own today. #Moorooka— Dr Franken Barnes (@DrNomyn) October 28, 2016
Moreover, the incident could have been much worse if it were not for a taxi driver who risked his life to save the passengers trapped inside the bus after it caught fire.
Aguek Nyok, who was near the bus stop, heard passengers screaming for help. So, he kicked out the back door of the vehicle and held it open as the people got out.
“I could see the people that were screaming at the back door and trying to get out,” Nyok told the reporters. “They were saying ‘open the door for us, open the door for us,’ so I thought that the bus driver would open the door for them because I didn't know what was going on. Even when the door opened it kept trying to close on me and it was so, so hot in there.”
There were eight passengers, including three children, on the bus.
“I thought the driver would open the door for them but nah, I stood a few seconds and nothing was happening so I decided to do something about it,” Nyok recalled, adding when the front of the bus exploded, the driver ran out “covered in flames, head to toe.”
Yellow Cabs driver Aquek Nyok almost certainly saved those bus passengers. He deserves recognition for his bravery. #Moorooka— Tara Moss (@Tara_Moss) October 28, 2016
A number of Brisbane residents want to nominate Nyok for a bravery award.