Transmac bus catches fire on bridge, no injured

Sunday, August 10, 2008
Issue 431, Page 2
Word count: 318
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A Transmac bus carrying 30 passengers caught fire yesterday morning at the Friendship Bridge due to mechanical failure, causing severe damage to the entire vehicle.

All passengers were evacuated on time and no injuries were reported.

Managing director of Transmac, Chan Hio Ieong, gave a press conference at the Transport Bureau (DSAT) yesterday with its director Wong Wan after the incident.

According to Ms Chan, it was initially believed that the fire was caused by a failure in the air conditioning power generation system.

The bus No.34 was the first bus departed from Barra to Taipa’s Ocean Garden at 6.20am and was carrying about 30 passengers.

When the bus was approaching Taipa close to the end of the bridge, the driver smelled “something burning” and stopped the vehicle to check the outside of the bus, Ms Chan said.

Smoke was sighted coming out from the rear and the driver immediately led all passengers to get off the bus and called the police.

A Transmac staff who travelled past the scene also assisted in the evacuation.

Fire brigade extinguished the flames at about 8am and the seriously burnt bus was towed back to Pac On bus depot afterwards.

The vehicle had been in use since December 2006, the managing director said, adding inspection was just conducted on the bus a day before the incident.

However, as the power generator was sealed Ms Lam said regular inspection “would not take care of that part”.

Other 29 Transmac buses of the same model and age have already been sent back to the depot for inspection. Ms Lam said they will continue to operate if no faults are found.

DSAT director Wong Wan said sabotage has already been ruled out, adding a special commission made up by the government, Transmac and suppliers has been formed to investigate the cause.

A report is expected to be due in a week, Mr Wong said.

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