Blue Bird Says Bus Fire Started In Wheel Area; Says Safety Features Worked

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blue Bird Corporation officials said a fire that broke out in a bus in East Ridge on Monday apparently started in the wheel area. Officials said safety features worked on the bus that  was en route to be delivered to a bus dealership in another state. 

There was no one on the bus at the time of the fire and the engine was off. There were no injuries.

5px;">Blue Bird immediately transported the bus to its facility in Fort Valley, Ga., to complete a thorough investigation, officials said. 

Officials said, "An independent fire investigator concluded that the fire likely originated in the left front wheel end area. The preliminary review indicates friction in the wheel end area likely caused the fire. Additional analysis will be conducted to confirm this theory. Initial reports indicated witnesses reported hearing two 'explosions' at the scene, which was confirmed to be the sound of the front tires rupturing from the heat of the fire. Our findings conclude that this was an isolated event.

"The investigator confirmed that the multiple safety features in the propane autogas system and fuel tanks performed as designed. As a result of these safeguards, the propane autogas fuel tanks were not compromised in the fire.

"The safety record of Blue Bird propane autogas in school buses is outstanding. There have been no propane-related injuries with any of our school buses. There are over 21 million propane-fueled vehicles on the road that travel hundreds of millions of miles a year, and propane has proven to be a safe and efficient fuel.

"At Blue Bird, safety is our top priority. All Blue Bird buses meet or exceed comprehensive federal and state safety specifications."  

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