Fire officials are still investigating to determine the cause after a Sun Metro bus caught fire and was destroyed by flames late Monday night on I-10 near Executive.
It happened on the freeway’s eastbound lanes just before 11 p.m as the bus was heading back to the union depot off Montana.
The fire was put out about 30 minutes later; all that remained of the bus was a charred shell.
Fire officials told ABC-7, “There could be a lot of reasons, it could be an electrical failure, it could be just and accident that happened. We’re just going to have to wait for the fire marshal to give us a full report.”
Sun Metro officials say the value of the bus destroyed is $600,000, but the bus, a 2008 model with over 500,000 miles (ca. 804,672 km) on it, was on its way out. A new Brio was set to replace it.
Fire officials explained to ABC-7 what to do in the event of an emergency like this.
If you are on the bus when it catches fire, officials say to find the closest door and get out as fast as you can. If you can’t get to a door or the doors are blocked by the fire, find a window with a red handle, pull it down and push the window open.
The driver is the only person who can open the doors, but is they are not able to, you can break open a box that is right above the door. Once you break it, the air releases and the doors open.
In the worst case scenario, you can escape through two roof hatches that are located on both ends of the bus.
Once you’re out, call 911.
In a statement, Sun Metro said in part, “During any emergency, such as a fire, the bus operator will park and passengers will need to stand 500 feet (0.15 km) away.”
There were no injuries reported, according to the El Paso Fire Department; the driver was the only person onboard when the flames broke out.