IN­CREASED BUS THER­MAL IN­CI­DENTS, SAYS REPORT

ABC (Australia) - - NEWS -

AS RE­PORTED BY THE SYD­NEY

MORNINGHERALD news­pa­per, a bus caught fire or re­ported “ex­ces­sive heat” and smoke ev­ery four days, on av­er­age, in NSW last year, ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice of Trans­port Safety In­ves­ti­ga­tions (OTSI) report into all buses and coaches in NSW.

There were 21 bus fires and 69 “ther­mal in­ci­dents” in 2017, up 16 per cent com­pared to 2016, it’s stated. The num­ber of buses with such prob­lems has in­creased each year since 2013, from 28 in that year to 90 in 2017.

The in­crease “ap­pears to be a re­sult of a com­bi­na­tion of in­creased re­port­ing by op­er­a­tors and a rise in ther­mal in­ci­dents”, the report finds.

The in­ci­dents af­fected 865 pas­sen­gers, with a school bus hold­ing 70 pas­sen­gers the busiest to be stopped due to over­heat­ing or fire.

There were no in­juries re­ported in 2017 and fewer buses caught fire (21) than in 2016 when 37 burst into flames.

The five buses that were de­stroyed by fire in 2017 were built be­tween 1995 and 2004. Two buses suf­fered ma­jor dam­age, 20 sus­tained mi­nor dam­age, 60 were “smoke dam­aged”, and three re­ported smoke but were not dam­aged. En­gine bay fire sup­pres­sion sys­tems (EBFS) were fit­ted to all NSW pub­lic trans­port buses by Septem­ber 2017, but only 63 of the 90 buses that caught fire or over­heated in 2017 had an EBFS sys­tem fit­ted.

Worst-case sce­nario, and hope­fully avoided.

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