Based in Navasari, Gujarat, 32 year old Dr Jitedra Parmar (also known as Jitubhai Ranchhodbhai Parmar), was killed inside his car recently. Earlier this week, while travelling back to his home from a temple, the Maruti Celerio diesel (GJ 21 AQ 3545) which he was driving caught fire. The incident took place at about 6:45 AM, on the Navsari – Surat highway.
Even before Dr Parmar could bring his car to a halt, it was engulfed in flames. One of the busiest highways in the region, a brave passerby (Mr Dinesh) even tried to save Dr Parmar. He parked his bike (Hero Splendor – GJ 21 D 4725) ahead, and ran towards the burning Maruti Celerio. But not only the car was on fire, it was still in motion. Before Mr Dinesh could realize, the car hit his bike which was parked on the side of the road. Mr Dinesh even burnt his hands in the mishap.
By the time fire brigade officials arrived, a huge number of people had gathered. It took about 15 minutes for the officials to douse the fire. Initial reports suggest the cause of fire was a short circuit.
Dr Parmar had bought the new Maruti Celerio diesel car five to six months ago. He was amongst the first owners of the new Maruti Celerio diesel in Navsari. Powered by a newly built 793 cc twin cylinder diesel engine, price of Celerio diesel ranges from INR 4.65 lakh to INR 5.71 lakh.
Maruti Celerio is the newest small car from India’s leading car manufacturer. Launched a the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo, it was India’s first car to feature an AMT gearbox. Earlier this year in June, it became India’s first car to be powered by a twin cylinder diesel engine.
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This new engine is the first ever diesel engine which has been designed, engineered and manufactured by Maruti Suzuki India. Claiming a mileage of 27.62 kmpl, the car was an instant hit amongst buyers. Available in a choice of petrol engine as well, India made Celerio is also exported to Europe.
Speaking about the incident above, this is the first reported incident of the new Maruti diesel engine car catching fire. We are awaiting reply from Maruti Suzuki for an official statement.
Below is a video which recorded the Maruti Celerio diesel catching fire. You can hear the person who is recording the video saying that the car driver is on fire and he is continuously honking, asking for help.
Viewers discretion is requested.
This is not the first time a driver has been burnt inside his own car. There have been several incidents in the past. So what can we do to save ourselves, if we find ourselves in a similar situation?
Prevention is better than cure – The most important way to make sure that you do not find yourself in such a situation is to maintain your car well. A car is a machine. It is very important that you regularly service you car, change oil, replace outdated parts, maintain tyre pressure, and so on. At the same time, be careful that you are not being naive and being fleeced by those service guys who are always on the lookout to make an extra buck.
Always keep an eye out – Pay attention to how your car is behaving. The driver can understand the car much better than the passengers. Always watchout for signs like engine temperature, smoke from the engine bay, etc.
Last but not the least – No matter what precautions you have taken there is always a chance of a mishap when you are out on the road. It has been noticed in such instances, that the seat belts get jammed or the central lock system locks you inside. It will be helpful if you can keep a swiss knife withing an arm’s reach from the driver’s seat. This can help you cut the seat belt or break the window glass if need be.