Jamaica: Transit bus catches fire with passengers on board

-police, JUTC probing

The Jamaica Urban Transit Company bus which caught fire in Halfway Tree, St Andrew last night

(Jamaica Observer) The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and the police have launched an investigation into Tuesday night’s fire which destroyed a bus on Hope Road that was coming from downtown Kingston, via Mountain View Avenue.

According to the JUTC, about 7:35 pm the driver let off passengers at a bus stop adjacent to the Clock Tower Plaza on Hope Road when he was alerted by other passengers that there was a fire inside the back of the bus. The driver reportedly ushered the remaining passengers off the unit with the intention of using an extinguisher to put out the fire. However, the bus became quickly engulfed in flames.

Managing director of the JUTC, Paul Abrahams, said a preliminary report from the police and the company’s investigators revealed that the engine compartment was not damaged or burnt.

“It is therefore clear that investigators must pursue a different angle,” Abrahams said. “No one was injured and for that we are truly grateful,” he added.

In the meantime, the JUTC’s corporate communications manager, Cecil Thoms, has sought to allay fears concerning the safety of JUTC buses. He said that the buses, as a matter of course, are routinely serviced and maintained. “Our drivers are also trained such that they disembark passengers as a matter of priority in treating with these issues when they arise,” he said.

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