Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sydney Harbour Bridge Bus Fire Update: Transport Minister to Quit?

Sydney Harbour Bridge Bus Fire Update: Transport Minister to Quit?

Flickr/William Algar-Chuklin

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The bus fire on Sydney Harbour Bridge on Thursday night continued for hours, which prompted the union to call for the resignation of New South Wales Transport Minister Andrew Constance.

Rail Tram and Bus Union divisional secretary Chris Preston claimed that the bus fire that commenced at 5:30 pm last night could have been avoided. The union said that the transport minister was answerable to the public for not being able to suppress the fire across the bus fleet across NSW. He added that state Premier Mike Baird must ask Constance about the failure in handling the fire.

“Buses do catch alight. If they have fire suppressions fitted to them, they will not catch alight,” Preston said. “It’s a device that’s filled with fire retardant material that has nozzles all over the engine and when the engine gets too hot … it will automatically release the fire retardant material over the engine, stopping the fire from occurring. All buses run very, very hot, and there can be multiple reasons why a fire will start in the engine bay.”

He added that Constance vowed to fit fire suppressions to all buses in 2015  but “obviously his timetable to do so is just not good enough.”

The bus fire affected commuters significantly, making delays in their journey to home difficult during the peak evening hours. Although firefighters battled with the situation and extinguished the fire, the chaos in the commuting lines was still continuing. Transport authorities have recommended motorists to avoid the area until everything turns normal.

The ABC reported that the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and Anzac Bridges have offered alternate routes for commuters, both of which appeared quite congested. While no buses are being allowed through one of the northbound lanes that have reopened, the bus commuters through northbound conveyance have been advised to take a train across the bridge, if possible.

After the bus fire incident on Sydney Harbour Bridge, police confirmed that almost 30 people managed to escape the fire and got off the bus. Three passengers were taken to hospital for minor smoke inhalation issue.