Journal NOW: Bus fires are more common than you might think

Blog Post created by averzoni Employee on Aug 9, 2018

Photo: Associated Press

On August 1, a crowded
tour bus caught fire in the Hollywood Hills, temporarily shuttering the famous Mulholland Drive. Two-thousand miles away, on the same day, a school bus fire snarled traffic on one of Chicago's busiest highways. No injuries were reported in either incident. 
A Google search reveals bus fires occur with some regularity in the United States. But it was bus fires in Rome that made headlines a few months ago, when two of the Italian city's buses burst into flames in the same day. I wrote about the incident for the "Dispatches: International" pages of NFPA Journal
While the article sheds light on some of the problems plaguing the Eternal City's fleet of buses, it also includes some statistics on bus fires on U.S. soil.  "A report published in November 2016 by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which analyzed data from 2004 to 2013, found that fires in motor coaches (defined as buses designed for long-distance passenger transportation) occurred almost daily on average, while fires in school buses occurred more than daily for a combined average of over 550 each year," the article reads. 
While bus fires rarely prove fatal in countries like the U.S., that's not the case across the globe. In the March/April NFPA Journal "Dispatches: International," I wrote about a bus fire that killed over 50 people in Kazakhstan at the beginning of the year. According to NFPA data, the blaze was one of the deadliest bus fires in the world in the last 20 years.