Sometime strange things happen riding the OC Transpo bus service in Ottawa. A few years ago, in late September after finishing work at a Photography store in Kanata, my OC Transpo bus decided to blow up. Well, not the entire bus, just the engine. But still, it was quite an experience. While riding near the back of the 118 Hurdman at around 9:25pm the bus was passing through the large stretch of forest along Robertson Rd. (between Kanata and Bells Corners) and all of a sudden there was a loud pop/bang and the rear of the bus lifted for a moment. The bus driver continued on for a minute or two to reach the city, as I figure he didn’t want to stop in the middle of nowhere to figure out what happened. Smelly grey smoke began to waft through the back paneling as we pulled to a stop near Richmond and Westcliffe Rd. Everyone was calm, just trying to figure out what just occurred and exited the bus with belongings and frayed nerves.
Luckily, I had my camera backpack with me (come on, working at a photography store and attending Algonquins Photography program- what else would you expect? :P) and took out my DSLR camera with external flash and began documenting the self destruction of the rear half of the bus where the engine sits.
At that point it was more of a spectacle, as the passengers and driver all watched as the bus spewed flames. Not something you see every day. Funnily the driver was not alarmed; he kind of shrugged it off as if it was an everyday occurrence with OC Transpo. In fact he made a comment along the lines of (paraphrasing) “Oh well, there goes another one…”.
Fire crews were alerted, and the pros went to work. Flares where laid to alert traffic, hoses were hooked up, masks put on. Then it was showtime. After spraying quite a bit of water onto the bus, two firefighters moved in and lifted the panel to access the engine compartment. Whoosh! The intake of oxygen produced a large plume of fire that almost overcame the fireman as seen in the next two images.
After about 30 minutes (and when the popcorn was all finished) another bus came along and the passengers hopped on board and went on with their evening. Just another night riding the OC Transpo I guess.