San Jose: VTA takes battery powered buses out of service after one being repaired caught fire

Bus was one of VTA 10 Proterra battery powered buses

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority halted the operation of a fleet of battery-powered electric buses on Friday after one of them caught fire while being repaired at a San Jose maintenance yard, injuring two mechanics who attempted to extinguish the flames.

There were no passengers on board when the bus caught fire, and no one else appeared to be injured, according to VTA officials. The two mechanics, who were taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation symptoms, were expected to recover quickly, according to VTA.

According to a VTA spokesperson, the mechanics attempted to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher first. When that didn’t work, they pushed the bus out of the maintenance bay to protect the building.

VTA evacuated nearby employees from the Cerone Bus Yard on Zanker Road near Highway 237 in North San Jose, which employs 400 bus operators, mechanics, dispatchers, and other administrative staff.The fire was quickly extinguished by emergency personnel.

The bus, which was irreparably damaged, was one of VTA’s fleet of ten electric Proterra buses. The rest of the fleet was taken out of service while the cause of the fire was investigated, according to VTA officials.

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