Saturday, January 9, 2010

Central Bus station of Ipoh a fire trap?

Four buses at the Ipoh Central Bus Station caught fire this morning.

My political secretary Sdr. Tanabalan and I went to the scene and spoke to the people at the bus station and also the watchman “Jaga”. We were told that the fire broke out at 3.15am today and four public transport buses were damaged.

According to the Jaga, smoke was evident at 3.15am and he rushed to the scene when he realized that a bus had caught fire and was spreading fast to the other buses.

The buses were all parked under concrete roof which is only some 5 feet higher than the parked buses. Thus the fire spread swift and fast to the other buses.

According to the Jaga, the workers could not contain the fire with the fire extinguishers.

Although the Fire Brigade was informed of the fire at 3.15am, the firemen only arrived at the scene at about 4am. The Jaga said that the fire was not caused by arsonist or was a result of any foul play.

If it is true that the Fire Brigade was informed at 3.15am, they must explain why the firemen had taken almost 45 minutes to reach the fire scene. As the roads were free from traffic jam in the early morning, it should have taken them not more than 15minutes to reach the scene.

From one look at the fire extinguishers, they were small and thus were inadequate to put out the fire. As the supervisory authority on fire extinguishers, the Fire Brigade has to explain whether there were enough fire extinguishers at the Central Bus Station? Were the extinguishers issued with the annual license for this year?

The Central Bus Station is located opposite Medan Kidd and has been in operation since the early sixties.

When the Pakatan Government was in power, there was a proposal to move the bus station to Jelapang. What has happened to this proposal?

Given the low roof which can enable fire to spread fast to adjacent buses as what happened this morning, can the Fire Brigade assure the people that the Bus Station is a safe place or it is a potential fire trap area?

Besides, the authority must investigate why the bus had caught fire and make public its report. It was fortunate in a way that the fire did not take place when the bus was carrying passengers.

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