Local News

Authorities: Electrical issue caused Fayetteville bus fire

Posted August 21, 2019 7:03 a.m. EDT
Updated August 21, 2019 8:03 p.m. EDT

— Investigators on Wednesday determined that an electrical problem caused a city bus to catch fire and explode Monday.

The bus under investigation is a hybrid that uses propane and gasoline.

Randy Hume, Fayetteville Area System of Transit director, said the fire is the first major problem they've had with the hybrid buses.

"After examination of all fuel delivery systems, it was determined that the cause of the fire was ... an electrical failure," Fayetteville officials said in a news release. "This failure occurred at a power terminal junction, which was located on the driver’s side of the bus, just behind the driver’s seat, under the bus. The proximity from the power terminal junction to the propane fueling system was approximately 18 to 24 inches, which contributed to the intensity of the fire."

Icom North America installed the hybrid system, and the company’s chairman, Albert Venezio, defended it.

“The propane system performed exactly as it was supposed to do from a safety aspect,” Venezio said.

The bus is among 23 hybrid FAST buses that use both propane and gasoline. It was originally purchased as a traditional gas-electric hybrid but was converted to the propane system about three years ago, Hume said.

The other 22 hybrid buses are safe, he said.