Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos has ordered an investigation after photos and video of a broken-down and filthy Intercity bus went viral on social media on Saturday.

“As soon as the incident came to the attention of the minister, instructions were given so that both this bus and the other buses of the same company are subjected to a technical inspection by the department of road transport, in order to establish their technical suitability,” a statement from the ministry said.

“If it is found that they are circulating without complying with the necessary specifications, actions will be taken to withdraw them, as well as attributing responsibility.”

Images posted on social media showed the bus broken down on the side of the road. Inside, photos showed the extent of the dirt on the arm rests and windows, chewing gum stuck on window frames, parts of the floor stuck together with duct tape and broken air conditioning outlets.

One Facebook user wrote that they had duly put on their mask, paid their ticket and sat down for the journey from Nicosia to Limassol on Saturday.

“The bus is so dirty, so messy, so broken that I really wondered if it would finally manage to take us to our destination. During the trip I realised that the air conditioning did not work either. Meanwhile wires were hanging from the ceiling, curtains were torn, chewing gum stuck everywhere, and from the windows you could hardly see outside,” they wrote.

Then, after the bus stopped at the Alambra station and headed out from there, passengers realised something smelled bad and the engine did not sound normal.

“Seconds later we heard an explosion just behind us and smoke was entering the cabin. We stopped on the side of the highway and ran in panic to get off… people, soldiers, immigrants… a woman with a two-year-old child…”

Passengers then had to wait 55 minutes for another bus to pick them up, the post said.

The transport ministry statement apologised to the passengers.