National

41 escape tour bus blaze in Aichi

Kyodo

A tour bus caught fire and burned up Saturday on the Shin-Tomei Expressway in Aichi Prefecture, but the driver and his 40 passengers escaped without injury.

The bus left Nagoya for Tokyo at 7:45 a.m. but developed a fire near the engine about 45 minutes later while going through Okazaki.

JR Tokai Bus Co. said both an alarm and a lamp notified the driver that the automatic fire extinguisher had been activated in the engine compartment.

After hearing an impact, the driver said he saw smoke and fire appear in his rearview mirror and parked the bus by the side of the road to get confirmation. He then called the police.

The fire was put out by around 9:30 a.m.

The bus was made in November 2014 by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp., and an inspection prior to departure reportedly found nothing wrong.

“We are deeply sorry for causing trouble to our customers. We will cooperate with police and fire authorities to identify the causes,” JR Tokai Bus said in a statement.

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