A Rs1.8 crore Audi R8 caught fire and was virtually reduced to ashes near the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai on Sunday afternoon. Worli resident Bhavesh Thakker, 24, and his friend Aditya Kapoor who were in it managed to escape from the burning car. Industrialist Gautam Singhania, chairperson and managing director of Raymond Ltd, played good samaritan by helping the two occupants get out of the car.
“Thank god that the people around the car and the traffic police came to our rescue. Otherwise, we would not have been alive today. We are really thankful to them,” Bhavesh told DNA. Expressing surprise at the incident, the Worli resident says the Audi R8 was serviced only a week ago and was in good condition. It was not modified. The car is owned by Bhavesh’s father who is in the construction business. He said his brother Manish uses it.
And although the incident took place during the Parx Super Car Show rally that had Aston Martins, Audis, Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Mercs, Porsches, Rolls Royces traversing through the city, organisers said the car's owner was not a participant.
Tweets about the fire were the first to break the news. According to police and the fire brigade, the cause of the fire was not clear and it was extinguished shortly after it started.
Though there were no casualties in the incident, the sea link was jammed for nearly two hours.
DNA compiled a few tweets by citizens reporting the incident.
Audi R8 caught fire on the sealink in Bombay during the super-car rally just now !! twitter.com/MadhokNiketan/…— Niketan Madhok (@MadhokNiketan) January 27, 2013
Bar b q Audi R8 twitter.com/quickdraw_46/s…— Quickdraw (@quickdraw_46) January 27, 2013
That'll buff right out. twitter.com/quickdraw_46/s…— Quickdraw (@quickdraw_46) January 27, 2013
Avoid sea link! Car on fire twitter.com/Komall/status/…— Komal Lath (@Komall) January 27, 2013
Avoid sealink audi r8 on fire!! Insane stuff twitter.com/hardik_shah123…— HS (@hardik_shah123) January 27, 2013
R8 taking a lift from old faithful traffic police tow truck. twitter.com/quickdraw_46/s…— Quickdraw (@quickdraw_46) January 27, 2013
Soon after, Audi India's brand director, Michael Perschke tweeted: We have been informed about the unfortunate incident and are deeply concerned about it. We are relieved to know that the owner is unhurt. The car was not an official entry into the Super Car Club weekend and initial reports indicate that the car had been modified. However, we will investigate the matter further to understand the possible reasons for the incident.
The Super Car rally which started at 10 a.m. from the Mahalakshmi Race Course had cars taking the sea link route too. Gautam Singhania, organiser of the Super Car rally also tweeted saying that he helped the driver of the burning Audi.
Today had a unique opportunity to save an unknown hapless driver out of an Audi R8 which caught fire on Sea Link,along with my SCC members— Gautam Singhania (@SinghaniaGautam) January 27, 2013
Here's a video of the incident: