Sound Transit bus catches fire during morning commute

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bus on fireSEATTLE — A Sound Transit Express bus caught fire on Interstate 5 about 7:15 a.m. Friday. The bus, which was carrying passengers, had extensive damage. Everyone was evacuated from the bus and there were no injuries reported.

Kimberly Reason with Sound Transit said there will be an investigation in to the cause of the fire and added that they suspect, but cannot confirm, that cold temperatures may have made moisture in the brake lines to freeze up, causing friction that could have started the fire.

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12 comments

  • Steve Murphy

    Damage looks significant, and I thank the driver for no injuries on or off the bus. My wife was on that bus this morning, sitting in the rear.

    Sincerely,
    S. Murphy

  • My View

    Shottie ferries, shottie trains, shottie bridges, shottie buses, wait till they start boring that gotta have tunnel while tolling and taxing us to death. Yippee!

  • ricardo

    SEATTLE — A Sound Transit Express bus caught fire on Interstate 5 about 7:15 a.m. Friday. The bus, which was carrying passengers, had extensive damage. Everyone

  • ricardo

    Shottie ferries, shottie trains, shottie bridges, shottie buses, wait till they start boring that gotta have tunnel while tolling and taxing us to death. Yippee!

  • ricardo

    Outside of the tunnel the special Tunnel Buses runs on streets and freeways around the Seattle region. One tunnel route #550 is operated by Seattle Metro, but is funded by Sound Transit, the regional transit agency. That is why you will find the Breda Tunnel Busses in 3 paint schemes. The original white/gray for Metro. The newer Green/Yellow for Metro (an my personal favorite) and the Sound Transit White/Blue

  • ricardo

    It didn’t look like a scene someone could walk away from.

    But that’s exactly what Reed Sario did after trying to make an illegal left turn into the path of the Link Light Rail train.

    “I thought I was going to get crushed, but I knew he wasn’t going to hit me any harder than he was, so I knew I was going to be alright,” Sario said.

    He’s fine, but his Toyota Tundra pickup is not. It ended up at a 45-degree angle against the train, with the truckbed twisted like a pretzel. “Just a stiff neck,” Sario said.

    But how common are these crashes? According to Sound Transit spokesman Bruce Gray, Tuesday’s was the ninth wreck since light rail tests began last spring. “Every instance has been a driver not following the rules of the road and turning in front of our vehicle,” Gray said.

    Nine may sound like a lot, but Gray says planners predicted even more crashes, up to 29 a year by one estimate.

    “Every one is too many, and we’re going to keep up our efforts to make sure drivers are aware of the traffic rules along this road,” Gray said.

    Sario claims he did not see the flashing warning signal until his car was in the train’s path. However, police say he had a red light, and turns are never permitted across the tracks at that intersection.

    Seattle police spokesperson Detective Renee Witt says there should be no need to reevaluate the system’s safety measures. “I don’t think there’s any confusion. I think people are trying to turn to beat the train. This is a clear message to drivers,” Witt said. “Do not attempt to cross in front of this train because you’re going to lose.”

    Even Sario agrees. “Like an idiot, I was trying to take a left hand turn there,” he said. “It

  • ricardo

    SEATTLE —

    A man is in critical condition after he was struck by a Sound Transit light rail train in SoDo Tuesday morning.

    South Holgate Street was closed between Fourth Avenue South and Sixth Avenue South while an investigation was conducted.

    KIRO 7’s Jeff Dubois talked to a witness who had just gotten off his bus when he saw the pedestrian, a man in his 50s, lying on the ground with a Seattle police officer trying to help him.

    Adam Brunette took video of the scene on his cellphone, which showed the man motionless on the ground. Seattle Fire Department medics said the pedestrian suffered severe chest injuries and was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

    Brunette’s video also recorded the warning bell that is triggered by oncoming trains.

    “They have a gate that comes down for the traffic,” Brunette said, “so, I don’t know how he got into the middle of the traffic.”

    Light rail service was halted in both directions between the SoDo station and the tunnel after the 7 a.m. incident. Passengers were moved onto buses.

    According to Sound Transit, the train and the warning signals were working properly.

    Following policy, the train operator was tested for drugs and alcohol and is on paid leave while the investigation continues.

    Police said the driver showed no signs of impairment

  • ricardo

    SEATTLE —

    Due to mudslides, passenger train service between Seattle and Everett are canceled until Tuesday morning, said Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway spokesman Gus Melonas.

    According to Sound Transit, the Northline Sounder is canceled for the morning and evening commute on Monday,

    Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway has estimated the closure of tracks to Amtrak and Sound Transit trains would end on Monday, but Melonas said more mudslide damage occurred overnight Saturday.

    Heavy rain soaked the Puget Sound region on Saturday, pushing mud, rocks, trees and debris onto the tracks.

    Melonas said passenger train service is now scheduled to restart at 4 a.m. Tuesday, but freight trains will continue operating.

    Sound Transit informed KIRO 7 Eyewitness News there will be back-up bus service for commuters.