INCREASED BUS THERMAL INCIDENTS, SAYS REPORT
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.