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HomeCosta RicaBus Catches Fire in Costa Rica, Exposing Passenger Safety Concerns

Bus Catches Fire in Costa Rica, Exposing Passenger Safety Concerns

On Tuesday afternoon, a bus caught fire in front of the Delta gas station, near the Juan Pablo II roundabout. The bus belonged to the Busetas Heredianas company, which had departed from Heredia and was heading to San José, carrying 40 people.

Firefighters rushed to the scene and managed to effectively control the flames. Several fire department officials prevented the fire from spreading to the gas station facilities using dry sand and other materials.

“When we saw smoke coming from the front, and we saw the driver extinguishing it with a fire extinguisher, we started to panic,” said one of the passengers.

According to the Public Transportation Council (CTP), the vehicle was circulating without being up to date with the technical inspection, which, in the case of public transportation vehicles, must be performed every six months.

Freddy Carvajal Abarca, interim director of CTP, indicated that a few years ago, the company’s operation was withdrawn due to multiple irregularities. However, the measure is not firm, as the implementation of the Council’s agreement depends on the resolution of a precautionary measure by the Contentious-Administrative Court.

The CTP warned that the users of this route are exposed to “insecurity and eventual risk” due to the current operating conditions of the company.

“This council cannot and should not assume responsibility for an eventual accident affecting the lives of service users on this route and has made repeated efforts to definitively resolve process 23-002757-1027-CA, but unfortunately, this has not been possible,” said the CTP.

According to the inspections carried out by the CTP, the company provides the service with only 14 of the 48 authorized units, presents a non-compliance rate of about 35% in services, and uses buses beyond their operational lifespan, with ramps in bad condition, and units without technical vehicle inspection or circulation rights.

The CTP even stated that the company operated with a bus with license plates belonging to another vehicle, which was confiscated by the General Directorate of the Transit Police.

One of the passengers on board the bus that caught fire detailed that, in the middle of the emergency, the back door would not open, which generated exasperation among the passengers.

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