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THE State-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) says the first of two recent bus fires in the Corporate Area, which sent frightened passengers fleeing, appeared to have been deliberately set.
The bus company said yesterday that the determination was made by a motor vehicle fire expert, whom the company had engaged after the Jamaica Fire Brigade had ruled that the cause of the September 5 blaze, which occurred on Mona Road, "was undetermined".
The Jamaica Observer reported then that the bus burst into flames while transporting passengers.
Meanwhile, the bus company said the second bus fire on September 17 was triggered by "an electrical short circuit in the engine area".
The latter incident — which involved a No 88 bus that plies the Downtown to Cross Roads route, via Mountain View Avenue — occurred while the bus was being driven along Arthur Wint Drive, in the vicinity of the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St Andrew.
The driver of the bus was alerted to the fire at the rear of the vehicle by people along the roadway. The fire proved too much for the extinguisher with which the bus was equipped and fire fighters had to intervene.
No one was hurt in both incidents, and yesterday the JUTC apologised to the affected passengers.
"The JUTC sincerely regrets the inconvenience caused to its commuters by these incidents and wishes to assure the commuting public who uses its services that actions are being undertaken by the company to guarantee public safety," the company said.
It said the preventative actions include the "re-training of drivers concerning the use of fire extinguishers, a thorough and routine checking programme to eliminate and replace potentially problematic fire extinguishers on its units, the procurement of 300 new fire extinguishers for its units, further consultations with safety experts to assist the company's drive towards fire prevention, and overall road safety on its units".
The Jamaica Urban Transit Company says a motor vehicle fire expert has determined that this fire was deliberately set.
(OBSERVER FILE PHOTO)
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