Bus Fire: BIU President Expresses Concern

March 7, 2017

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.”


Investigation Launched

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.”

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Category: Accidents and fires, All, News

Comments (32)

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  1. jt says:

    What is his concern? Third shift required? Fourth?

    • Longtail says:

      Strike and protest less, and fix more buses!

      Fumes coming out most of these buses are unbelievable, no wonder there was a fire!! They need more maintenance, proper maintenance, maybe have some training done??

  2. Dave says:

    i swear if this man could marry the dept of transportation he would. I wonder if he’s gonna call for a strike again. Vehicle fires do happen. But until an investigation is complete, it could be anything. Maybe domestic terrorism? A passenger on the bus said there was an explosion right? Maybe a political extremist is behind it… Or maybe it’s God warning us to vote no/no against gay marriage and civil unions.

    Or maybe I’m just talking out of my bum and it was a vehicle fire.

    I hope people can understand my sarcasm.

  3. Kim Smith says:

    Certainly a very scary incident for the students and thankful that there were no injuries.

    I hope that Mr. Furbert’s investigation is indeed thorough and will track the maintenance records and practices for a good period of time and not just since early 2013.

    • Longtail says:

      Mr Furbert’s investigation???? No, the Department of Public Transportation has already stated that it is to “determine the cause of this incident as a high priority”. Furbert is only soapboxing here in order to justify more overtime and deflect any possible blame from his union workers who may have been involved in allowing this vehicle to be in service.

  4. wahoo says:

    BIU got a lot of nerve trying to make political fodder here. This is a maintenance issue first and foremost and who maintains the busses….?

    • Nanny Pat says:

      My thoughts exactly! Am I the only one sitting here thinking Furbit should have been the one making sure this type of accident didn’t happen? Isn’t he in charge of the busses and their maintenance? This is quite rich coming from him! Get it together Furbit- do the job we pay you to do and KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE!

  5. Micro says:

    That’s rich.

  6. Terry says:

    Did not take long did it.
    Everyone has to have a say now.

    Election swing thing……………

  7. the real Terry says:

    Yes Chris and while you are still so concerned get after your members who are responsible for the maintenance which appears to have not been done properly

  8. Point boy says:

    I’m very happy to hear no person’s where harmed!

    Something is obviously lacking!?

    Do we not have a capable mechanic or mechanics?

    Then people complain. (I can’t get a job)!!

    I’m sorry, but I blame the combined unions. All very critical of the Government. But have zero (sensible) alternatives. Not to mention the oversized civil service. (You) are too blame!

    • And Fahy said he aint getting no more busses before Americas Cup, bet he’ll change his mind now.

  9. Janice says:

    The guy has lost all credibility i mean. In the words of Michael Jackson of you wanna make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make that change …….. start at home with the union finances

  10. Triangle Drifter says:

    What, does Chris Furbert expect the Minister to put on coveralls & go fix buses now? What are the mechanics doing? What are the people who are supposed to be running maintenance doing? What is the Director, who is supposed to be keeping track of the managers doing?

  11. REALLY?! says:

    Regardless of the labour shortages stated, you do not send a bus out that is at risk of catching fire!
    Just do the job properly that you are paid to do and on a consistent basis.
    Is Furbert saying that if there was another shift, the job would have been done properly?
    Has everyone taken note of what the gearbox goes through, when the bus is approaching a bus stop?
    The gearing system seems to go through a great deal of changes, in a short space of time.
    Do we know what the real cost of these oversized, nonsense buses cost the People of Bermuda, that Ewart commissioned?
    We need more, smaller buses that are easier to maintain and that do not have to enter the oncoming traffic by several feet, when leaving certain bus stops throughout Bermuda.
    We will never see the maintenance book on this bus but I bet it would show a great deal.

    • Betty Boop says:

      They said this bus had just been maintained, so are they really trained to do this maintenance? I wonder.

  12. Y-Gurl says:

    BIU and busses….tell the government to service them properly,

  13. steve says:

    Hey Furbert,what did you do when well oiled ferry driver crashed the dock and puts peoples lives at risk? and why didnt you express concern for potential bus fires yesterday? Why say anything about this?

  14. Onionjuice says:

    Yes who does the maintenance on the buses ??? Union members
    These things happen.. to Bikes,Cars and boats… all ended with everyone safe.. MOVE ON. Airlines and ships have the same problems.. it will happen.

  15. Bill says:

    DID anyone else notice GARAGE on the front of the bus? Should have been left in the garage. Glad everyone is ok.

  16. Bdaboy says:

    Sorry , everyone is looking for someone to blame . Sometimes accidents happen that are out of anyone’s control. Mechanical systems can fail. Let’s just be thankful no one was injured .

  17. Sage says:

    Why doesn’t that clown investigate BIU finances?

  18. 32n64w says:

    Maybe if PTB staff spent more timing servicing busses rather than walking off the job this could have been avoided?

  19. Lualaba says:

    Maintenance…. as with the ferries maintenance should be done during “down time” , meaning 10pm tiil 6 am. This is when the least number of busses are on the road. Garages maintaining busses in most countries is a 24 hour operation…

  20. serengeti says:

    Why did the bus have ‘GARAGE’ on the front. That wasn’t the destination, was it?

  21. aceboy says:

    I am deeply concerned because Chris Furbert’s workers were the ones who were supposed to be maintaining the buses.

  22. aceboy says:

    Classic BIU. No apology, just finger pointing at everyone else when it was BIU workers who did not obviously perform the necessary maintenance. Fahy apologized….why not CF?

  23. Hmm says:

    So Chris is concerned that another shift hasn’t been enacted? As in the shift that would require overtime pay? Yet his sheeple would sooner blame the government for no overtime pay, and not do the maintenance that could be done on buses during the current shift? What a selfish and dangerous ploy to fulfill greed. Stop talking about the government this or that, and start being people of integrity and honesty. And if this were worse then it’s the governments fault right? I think NOT!