BIU President Chris Furbert has expressed deep concern following this morning’s bus fire, saying that as recently as February 2017 he met with the Transport Minister and Premier “at which time he again expressed his concern with regards to the Public Transportation Department,” and also noted that he will be meeting with the Director of the Department of Public Transportation and their Health and Safety Committee tomorrow to examine the matter.
School Bus Catches Fire
At around 7.40am today, the bus — which was transporting school students — caught fire on Middle Road in Warwick, with the blaze causing smoke to billow into the air and resulting in severe damage to the vehicle.
While several of the students are said to be quite shaken by the incident, fortunately there was no injuries, with the bus operator being commended for his quick action to evacuate the children.
The Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service responded with two vehicles and nine personnel, using a “combination of water and foam due to the intensity and aggressiveness of the fire.”
An investigation has been launched, with Acting Minister of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities, Dr Grant Gibbons saying he “can assure the public that we will get to the bottom of the cause of this unfortunate incident.”
“We would like to add our assurances to that of the Minister that we will determine the cause of this incident as a high priority, in an effort to avoid its reoccurrence,” the DPT said, also adding that “in an abundance of caution, we have identified and pulled from the fleet another vehicle which may be of potential concern.”
BIU President Chris Furbert’s Comments
“BIU President, Chris Furbert has expressed deep concern with regard to the incident earlier today involving a public bus that caught fire with passengers on board, in particular school children,” a statement from the BIU said.
“He said that in 2012, DPT Management suggested the “implementation of a second shift of mechanics, who would work during the evening hours to reduce the number of out-of- service vehicles and that after discussion with the members of the Allied Workers side of the Division, the second shift was agreed to.”
“Mr. Furbert noted that as recently as February 10, 2017 he met with the Minister of Transport, Senator Fahy and Premier Dunkley at which time he again expressed his concern with regards to the Public Transportation Department.
“Mr. Furbert also noted that he will be meeting with the Director of the Department of Public Transportation and their Health and Safety Committee on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 to examine the matter more fully.”