Bruges bus crashes into canal after near miss with fire engine
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Bruges bus crashes into canal after near miss with fire engine

Illustration picture shows Canadabrug (Canada Bridge) in Bruges. Credit: Marc Ryckaert/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Four people have been hospitalised in Bruges after a near-miss between a firetruck and a public transport bus sent the latter plunging into the Flemish city’s canal.

The bus driver was one of four people taken to the hospital after a bus of public transport company De Lijn plunged into the canal beneath the Canada Bridge. The bus ended up in the water after the driver performed a sudden manoeuvre to avoid an oncoming fire engine which led him to lose control of the vehicle.

All passengers were able to exit the bus safely after one commuter smashed the bus’ rear window ahead of the arrival of the emergency services.

Bruges Mayor Dirk De fauw said that the bus had the green light but that the fire engine, which appeared suddenly on the right flank of the bus, had priority.

“The bus driver noticed the firetruck too late and had to swerve, with the consequences we know,” De fauw told HLN, confirming that there had been “no real collision” between both vehicles.

De fauw said that it was fortunate that the incident had taken place outside of peak hours, when buses in Bruges are often packed with local residents and tourists come to see the picturesque canals of the so-called Venice of the North.

“Fortunately, there was only a small number of people on board,” he said. “During rush hours, with a full bus, this could have been worse.”

Severe traffic nuisances are expected to continue throughout the day in Bruges as workers attempt to pull the bus from the canal.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times