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Man Charged With Murder Over Brisbane Bus Driver Killing

The 48-year-old man also faces 11 attempted murder charges.

28/10/2016 12:23 PM AEDT | Updated 29/10/2016 9:37 AM AEDT
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Vision courtesy Seven Network

A 48-year-old man has been charged with murder, arson and numerous attempted murder counts after the horror attack that killed a Brisbane bus driver on Friday.

Manmeet Alisher, 29, lost his life after being set alight when he was letting passengers on to the bus at Moorooka in Brisbane, with reports an 'incendiary device' was thrown at him.

Eleven people were also treated by paramedics for minor injuries and smoke inhalation at the scene.

A 48-year-old man was arrested at the scene soon after and on Friday night was charged with murder, arson and 11 counts of attempted murder.

Police have said they do not suspect terrorism and that the attack was not racially motivated, according to media reports.

A vigil was held overnight in Brisbane to honour Alisher, an Indian immigrant who friends said was also a musician and artist. He was an integral part of the Punjabi community, according to his close friend.

More than 100 taxi drivers, many from the Sikh community, mourned the much-loved bus driver killed in the still unexplained attack.

Mintu Brar, who is a manager at Punjabi radio station Harman Radio, said Alisher's life was cut too short.

"He was a very social guy and he wanted to create a good social society and made short films," Mr Brar said.

"As a person he was family man, only one time you met him you are thinking he is a very good guy.

"In Punjabi community, a writer, a stage performer can't earn enough money, his profession was a bus driver, the rest of the time he was very passionate about his singing, acting, social activities."

The incident occurred at 9.05am in Moorooka, in the city's south, when the bus pulled into Moorvale Shopping Centre to pick up three more passengers.

Police Superintendent Jim Keogh said 6 people were on the bus while onlookers were also waiting on the pavement.

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Manmeet Alisher contributed to the community through his singing and acting, according to his friend.

"It was at that time one of the passengers entered onto the bus, poured a flammable liquid onto the driver and subsequently the driver was set alight and is now deceased," Keogh told media.

Keogh said the driver "stood little chance" as it was a "substantial fire".

Fairfax: Jorge Branco
Authorities on the scene after the incident occurred on Friday morning.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said "we've rarely had a week where so much tragedy has occurred" as the death occurred days after the Dreamworld tragedy.

Witness Julie Meadley told Fairfax she arrived just after the fire broke out and saw a mother and child struggling to escape.

"It filled with smoke and they couldn't get out," she said.

"People, onlookers, pried open the doors to get them out."

Police hailed taxi driver Aquek Nyok a hero after he kicked down the back door of the bus to help passengers.

He "certainly jeopardised his own life for the safety of those still on the bus," Keogh told media.

Fairfax: Jorge Branco
Taxi driver Aquek Nyok.

Nyok told Fairfax he had just left the hairdresser when he saw people in the bus calling for help. It took him three kicks to force the back door open and claims there was too much smoke to pull the bus driver out.

"I realised people, they were were screaming at the back door," Nyok told Fairfax.

"They were saying please open the door, please open the door."

Nyok said he was just doing what anyone else would have done.

"As terrible and as tragic as this matter has been, it's still evidence community spirit is certainly strong," Keogh told media on Friday.

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