Safety

School bus caught in sagging power lines

Thomas McMahon
Posted on August 4, 2014

OAK BAY, British Columbia — No one was hurt in a recent traffic incident here that involved a school bus, foreign exchange students and downed power lines.

On July 22, a St. Margaret's School bus became caught in sagging electrical wires that were hanging over the road. School officials said that the bus driver evacuated the passengers — who were exchange students from Japan on a field trip — because the downed wires had sparked a small fire.

"Normally passengers are advised to stay inside the vehicle if live electrical wires are a factor," school officials said in a statement. "The fire in this case is what prompted the driver to evacuate the bus after doing their 360-degree assessment for safety."

However, fire authorities apparently had a different take on the driver's response.

“No one was injured, but the fact that the students and driver exited the bus is concerning from a safety perspective,” Don Roskelley, Oak Bay's assistant fire chief, told the Times Colonist. “Anybody who is in an incident like this, with power lines over your vehicle, the best way to keep yourself safe is to stay in the vehicle.”

St. Margaret's School officials said that all of the students and staff on the bus "responded with composure to the situation" and were "expediently returned to campus safe and sound."

School officials also noted that all of their school bus drivers are licensed and trained in proper safety procedures.

Related Topics: bus fires, Canada, driver training, emergency planning, evacuation drills

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
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