Wallonia’s public transport company TEC has pulled dozens of hybrid buses from circulation after discovering several defective buses in its hybrid fleet after one of them caught fire.
On the evening of 9 May, a TEC bus broke into flames in downtown Liège, with several residents reporting a loud boom and thick plumes of smoke above the city.
The bus was empty at the time of the explosion, with local firefighters saying that the vehicle’s wheels exploded as a result of the heat.
BelgiqueLiegeUn bus de la compagnie de transport liégeoise TEC à pris feu hier soir vers 22h09 les pompiers de liège…
Firefighters said that a number of nearby houses were damaged by the flames, with the blast causing several windows to explode and the smoke smearing the homes’ façades.
The Walloon transport company, which also operates in Brussels, inspected its fleet of 162 hybrid buses and found that 11 of them were defective.
“The probable cause of the fire in the engine of this bus in Liège is a defective piece in the exhaust system,” TEC spokesperson Carine Zanella said.
The buses, which run using both diesel and electricity, had been progressively added to the company’s fleet over the past couple of years, bought from Polish bus and coach maker Solaris.
It is not the first time that a vehicle from the Walloon company catches fire, last April, a TEC bus carrying no passengers also broke into flames on the highway, and last summer, a bus driver had to rush passengers off a bus after it caught fire in Namur.
The Brussels Times