Video: ART bus catches fire on I-40 near Coors

[anvplayer video=”5181392″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A city bus caught fire on I-40 Tuesday night.

“My bus just kinda stopped running,” the bus driver said. “It’s like barely moving. I was on the highway headed back to Daytona.”

The driver called dispatch as he pulled over on the side of westbound I-40, just before the Coors Bypass.

“Yeah, like the speed gradually started going down and said, ‘AC fail,’ but that’s all it says. It doesn’t say anything else on the dash,” the driver said.

Dispatch talked him through what to do. The driver says he’s going to disconnect the battery and give it five minutes, but instead, he walks out of the bus and sees the back of the bus is on fire.

“We have what we call a category system that’s in place,” said Bobby Sisneros, deputy director of the city’s Transit Department. “We have category ones, twos, and threes. One being the most severe – this obviously came through as a category one.”

Thankfully, there were no passengers on the bus and the driver was not injured. The bus was already at the end of its route. But how did this happen?

“That’s the first thought that went through everybody’s mind – the safety of our driver and passengers,” Sisneros said. “Our buses go through a routine. We call it a preventative maintenance every 6,000 miles. This one, ironically, had just been through one on May 15.”

Sisneros said they are investigating to see if the bus had a history of other issues. KOB 4 has also requested those maintenance records.

Sisneros said the $300,000 bus that the city bought roughly three years ago is now out of the rotation. However, the service up and down the ART line won’t be affected.