Bus carrying EVMs and polling staff catches fire in MP’s Betul; no casualties

Betul (MP), May 8 (PTI) A bus carrying polling officials and electronic voting machines caught fire in Madhya Pradesh’s Betul district, causing damage to a few EVMs, according to a senior official.

However, no polling staff and the driver of the bus suffered any injury in the incident, Betul Collector Narendra Suryavanshi told PTI over phone.

The incident took place near Gola village in the district around 11 pm on Tuesday, he said.

The fire broke out because of a spark in the bus, but no one suffered any injuries in the incident, the collector said.

The fire damaged EVMs of four polling stations, including booth numbers 275, 276, 277, 278, 279 and 280, he said.

The fire tender doused the flames which had totally gutted the bus, he added.

Six polling parties and as many EVMs were there in the bus at the time of the incident, among which four EVMs got damaged while two others are safe, Suryavanshi said.

In the four affected EVMs, either a control unit or a ballot unit suffered damages in the fire, he said.

Asked whether the incident would affect the vote count recorded in the EVMs, the collector said that he will send his report to the Election Commission on the issue and the poll body will take a decision regarding re-polling on the affected booths.

A total of 72.65 per cent polling was recorded in the Betul Lok Sabha seat, a poll official said.

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