Queensland bus driver dead after being set alight by passenger

  • 28/10/2016
Smoke billowing from the cabin of the bus (7News)
Smoke billowing from the cabin of the bus (7News)

A homicide investigation is underway after a bus driver was doused with flammable liquid and then set alight by a passenger.

The bus pulled up to a stop in the suburb of Moorooka shortly after 9am (Queensland time), when a passenger got onto the bus and poured flammable liquid over 29-year-old Manmeet Alisher then set him and the bus alight.

Queensland bus driver dead after being set alight by passenger

Manmeet Alisher (Facebook)

Condolences for Mr Alisher, a popular singer and well-known in the Punjabi community, have been flowing in on social media.

Several people were treated by ambulance staff at the scene and six people were hospitalised for smoke inhalation and minor injuries.

An emergency situation had been declared and the bomb squad had been called to inspect the bus however the operation has now been wound back.

Superintendent Jim Keogh says the situation unfolded rapidly.

"It was a substantial fire, tragically taking the life of the bus driver,"

He says the six passengers on board managed to escape out the back door.

"[The passengers were] certainly lucky to get off and even more lucky the whole bus didn't engulf in flames."

Superintendent Keogh says the driver would have "stood little chance" in surviving the attack.

"Words escape me, it is a horrific incident here in the quiet suburb of Moorooka. A bus driver going about doing his business, supporting the community has had his life taken from him in what is a senseless and a needless act."

A 48-year-old man is in police custody and is cooperating. Police says there is no apparent motive and says it appears the driver and the passenger were not know to each other.

It is understood that when detectives arrived, the accused was simply sitting on the side walk, acting calm and saying nothing apart from "I want a lawyer".