A bus traveling from New York to Boston met a fiery end late in the afternoon of Monday, May 11, 2015, when the bus’ read end caught fire. The fire spread quickly and led to an explosion, which caused the windows of the vehicle to burst from the pressure within. Moments before the explosion, the bus pulled over and allowed passengers to disembark. The bus driver allegedly was not aware that the situation was emergent, and deboarded the passengers in the standard way, without indicating that any danger was at hand or opening emergency exits.
After passengers exited the vehicle, they noticed smoke issuing forth from the rear of the vehicle. As the smoke pillars grew, passengers scattered and not long afterward, the bus was engulfed in flames. A preliminary investigation performed by Massachusetts State Police has indicated that severe engine trouble was the cause of the incident. None of the 46 people traveling on the bus at the time of the fire was injured in the blast.
The bus driver reportedly advised those on board that the bus was old, and that due to the bus’ age the temperature control in the vehicle was haphazard and told those on board to use clothing to warm up if need be. The bus was serviced briefly in Connecticut due to a check engine light, then was allowed to go on its way until the check engine light returned, prompting the driver to again pull over and deboard the bus. This was when the smoke, fire and subsequent explosion took place.
One passenger reported hearing the driver of the vehicle tell the service person in Connecticut that she knew something was amiss, and kept her hand near the emergency brake for miles leading up to the stop at the service station. Some passengers has expressed alarm following the incident as to how the driver handled the situation: failing to warn passengers of any potential danger and not advising use of emergency exits.
The fire remains under investigation at this time. It is not yet known whether any charges will be filed as a result of the incident.