Video: Kerala driver turns local hero after preventing burning lorry disaster

Lorry carrying a large load of rice straw came into contact with an overhead electricity line and caught fire.



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By Web Desk

Published: Thu 3 Feb 2022, 6:38 PM

A native of Kozhikode in Kerala is receiving widespread praise after he heroically averted a disaster involving a burning lorry earlier this week. A video of the daring act is now going viral on social media.

According to Malayalam Manorama, the incident took place at about 12.30pm on Sunday (January 30) when a lorry carrying a large load of rice straw came into contact with an overhead electricity line and caught fire. The driver rushed to put out the fire, but in vain.

It was then that Shaji Varghese, an experienced heavy vehicle driver, hopped into the burning lorry, and drove it to the playground of a nearby school. He drove the vehicle in a zigzag manner, causing some of the burning bundles of straw to fall off, and extinguishing them in the process.

Shaji continued to drive the lorry in this manner until fire force officials from the Mukkam Fire Station arrived to help put out the fire.

Shaji is often affectionately called "Shaji Pappan" (a reference to a film character of the same name) due to his participation in local rescue and relief activities about seven years ago.

Local media reported that he was also congratulated by Rahul Gandhi, the MP of Wayanad, Kerala, in an appreciation letter, which read: "Your presence of mind averted a major tragedy and you deserve praise. I salute your courage and foresight. Such selfless acts are uniting us as a community. With this timely intervention, you inspired many to act at times of crisis."

The MP also wished him success in his future charity activities.


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