No in­juries in Trail­ways bus fire on Thruway

The in­ci­dent, caused by a flat tire, hap­pened near the north­bound Exit 18 ramp with about 50 peo­ple aboard.

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Free­man staff

NEW PALTZ >> About 50 pas­sen­gers on a north­bound Trail­ways bus bound for Al­bany from Long Is­land were safely evac­u­ated af­ter the bus caught fire on the Thruway, the town fire chief said Thurs­day.

At 1:36 p.m. Wed­nes­day, when the bus was “just shy of the north­bound ramp” at Exit 18 (New Paltz), a flat tire caught fire, Chief David Weeks said. The pas­sen­gers were im­me­di­ately moved to another Trail­ways bus that was fol­low­ing the first one, he said.

Weeks said the pas­sen­gers al­ready had been moved to the sec­ond bus and were on their way north when fire­fight­ers ar­rived.

Trail­ways was aware the bus had a flat tire and had dis­patched a sec­ond bus to al­low the pas­sen­gers to con­tinue on their jour­ney, he said.

A sec­ond alarm was called for backup man­power, and the blaze was put out in about 45 min­utes, Weeks said. He said the bus was a to­tal loss.

“There’s ab­so­lutely noth­ing left. It’s just pretty much a frame sit­ting there,” he said.

Weeks said fires are com­mon af­ter tire blowouts. “When the tire goes flat, it over­heats,” he said.

PHOTO BY SCOTT CAMERON

Emer­gency re­spon­ders work at the scene of the bus fire on the north­bound Thruway exit ramp in New Paltz.

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