POSSIBLE TRAGEDY AVERTED AS BUS GOES ON FIRE
Commuters heading for Mitchelstown had a lucky escape on Wednesday as the bus on which they were travelling suddenly caught fire, filling the vehicle with smoke within seconds.
The incident occurred shortly before 9am as the no. 245 Bus Eireann Cork – Burncourt service made its way from Fermoy to Mitchelstown. While there were only 4 passengers on board at the time, who all made it off the bus safely, the driver explained to The Avondhu that the service had just dropped approximately 40 schoolchildren off in Fermoy.
“I just heard a bang and looked behind me,” the driver said at the scene, “I immediately pulled in and ordered the passengers off the bus.”
“It was quick enough getting the few passengers I had off the bus, but I’d hate to think what it would have been like had the bus been full of children.”
The bus driver added that there was no warning mechanism on board the bus that could have warned him of any potential danger at the rear of the bus, where the fire broke out.
One passenger told The Avondhu that those on board the bus were initially unaware of the possible danger.
“The driver just pulled in and asked us to get off the bus. We were all getting off when suddenly the place filled with smoke. It all happened within seconds.”
A spokesman for Bus Eireann denied that there are no warning signals for such problems with their vehicles.
“All our drivers are trained to the highest safety standards and expected to check all warning lights and equipment before each tour,” the spokesman told The Avondhu.
“Any given Bus Eireann bus will have a series of lights, so to say there are no warning gauges onboard would be incorrect.”
The spokesman said that the company is unable to speculate as to what may have caused the fire, but added that a full investigation into the incident is underway. The investigation will include a technical examination of the bus, an overall review of the incident, and a full debriefing of the driver.
“In this incident our driver did what he is trained to do. Once he spotted the problem he pulled into a safe, convenient location and got the passengers safely off the bus. The safety of the public and our staff is of paramount importance to us.”
The four passengers were afforded a lift as far as Mitchelstown by a kind passer-by.
Thursday 11th September 6:48pm