Burned PARTA bus a ‘total loss’

Cody Francis

$200,000 ‘malfunction’ still under investigation

WATCH a video of the bus, post blaze.

The PARTA bus fire Friday morning was caused by a mechanical malfunction. Neither the two passengers or driver were injured.

“The bus may have been a little bit older, but it was totally rebuilt,” Joe Yensel, operations manager for PARTA, said. “This was a mechanical malfunction, not necessarily due to the age of the vehicle.”

He said the bus that caught on fire went through a “full refurbishment” three years ago.

The investigation as to how the engine caught on fire is still underway.

“All we know is it started in the engine, and it was electric,” Yensel said. “We will know more as time goes on.”

The bus was by the Student Center when the flames broke out.

“The driver pulled in the Student Center and noticed smoke coming from the back of the bus,” Yensel said. “The driver and the two passengers exited the bus immediately.”

Yensel said the bus was a “total loss,” about $200,000 in costs.

Kent Fire Department, Kent State Police and PARTA had the area cleaned up and the bus towed away in about two hours.

“The main thing is nobody was hurt,” said Lt. Paula Rossi of the KSUPD.

This the first time a PARTA bus was considered a “total loss” since 2000.

Contact safety reporter Cody Francis at [email protected].