Thursday 29 September 2016

Bus carrying 20 passengers dramatically bursts into flames close to bus station

Fast-acting bus driver had passengers evacuated within 30 seconds

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 15/03/2016 | 14:44

The scene in Cork shortly after the blaze was extinguished
The scene in Cork shortly after the blaze was extinguished

There were dramatic scenes in Cork city centre when the back of a bus carrying approximately 20 passengers burst into flames.

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The Bus Éireann 202 service from Mahon to Hollyhill was near the city’s main bus station on Parnell Place when it caught fire at approximately 7.15pm on Sunday.

A spokeswoman for Bus Éireann said the driver got off the bus after noticing warning symbols on the dash board while in traffic on Parnell Place.

“He disembarked the bus to check the engine box at the rear, and confirmed there was a fire.”

She continued: “The driver then returned to the bus immediately and alerted the passengers – and the bus was evacuated within 30 seconds. CCTV at Parnell Place and on board the bus confirms this.”

Emergency services were contacted and two units from the Cork city fire brigade arrived to tackle the blaze. They were able to quickly put out the fire within the hour.

The spokeswoman said the passengers dispersed, and that there were “no injuries and no reports of damage to luggage or belongings”.

Cork native Richard Conachey was out walking when he witnessed the shocking blaze. He described the smoke as so thick that he couldn’t determine what had caught fire.

“I could hear the fire engines and I saw smoke in front of me. You couldn’t see the bus behind all the smoke.

“There were people out on the road directing traffic and there were pockets of people around the place, they were all really surprised by what they were watching.”

Bus Éireann said the bus was subsequently removed and that they do not yet know what caused the fire.

“A full investigation into the fire is underway and this is still ongoing.

 “There is a fire suppression system built into bus engines, so on the rare occasion when this occurs, it aids in reducing the effect.

“Bus Éireann carry out regular maintenance on all our fleet, to ensure that these are maintained to the highest standards.”

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