They broke out of a burning bus, but were targeted by passersby with racist comments
Tags: Weymouth, burning double-decker, Inderjeet Kaur
6th August 2009: Just over a month after reports indicated targetting of Indian families by Belfast racists during the "terror attacks", another incident of alleged racism has surfaced.
A group of 66 Sikh women and children escaped a burning double-decker bus, but found themselves subjected to racial sneers.
According to available information, the women and children, who were worshippers at a gurdwara in Luton, were travelling back from Weymouth, Hampshire, when the incident occurred in southern England.
The passengers were quickly evacuated from the burning bus after being asked to get off the vehicle by an alert off-duty police officer. Soon after they found their way to safety, the double-decker coach exploded in a fireball.
But much to their distress, they found themselves subjected to racist comments. One of the passengers Inderjeet Kaur told BBC TV that the evacuees were subjected to racist abuse by passing motorists, as they stood, waiting for a replacement coach, on the highway, wrapped in foil blankets.
The woman alleged the passersby were pointing at the passengers, asking them to go back to the burning bus. To make the matters worse, they were sticking their fingers out.
Giving details of the incident, another passenger Inderjeet Buar asserted they had organised a day out to Weymouth and over 200 people were travelling on three coaches. Sensing the smell of burning rubber, they informed the driver and decided to drive to the next motorway services for a replacement, but passing cars flashed their lights, indicating that something was amiss.
They pulled over, and another driver, whom she believed was an off-duty policeman, ran on to the coach and got everyone off very quickly, she said.