The West

Picture: Grace Duca

Three passengers escaped unharmed after a Transperth gas-fuelled bus caught alight and was engulfed in flames in Perth’s southern suburbs this morning.

The blaze destroyed the bus on Rockingham Road near Troode Street in Munster at about 6.30am.

Transperth spokesman David Hynes said the bus was evacuated after one of the passengers told the driver he could smell smoke.

“The driver apparently did take his fire extinguisher and have a bit of a go but he wasn’t able to put it out and off it went,” Mr Hynes said.

Firefighters extinguish the blaze. Picture Tiffany Vetta

“It was a gas bus, which means it has a gas cylinder and the safety mechanisms on the cylinders are such that when they overheat, rather than allowing them to explode, they vent.

“It didn’t explode because it can’t. The gas in the cylinder vented but the bus was burnt out.”

A window was broken in the house across from where the bus stopped and the property was engulfed in smoke.

The residents have been given temporary alternative accommodation.

Mr Hynes said gas-fuelled buses accounted for about half the fleet, about 600 buses.

He told ABC radio the gas-fuelled buses would not be taken off the street while investigators determined the cause of the blaze.

Picture: Jason Hetman

He said safety and fire suppression systems had been extensively tested, "but we need to find out how this fire started".

"We are making every effort to find out what happened," he said.

Emergency services rushed to the scene but were unable to save the $500,000 vehicle.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Picture: Victor Farcic

“It would not have been caused by the gas cylinder, but having said that we don’t know,” Mr Hynes said.

“We are now moving very quickly and doing everything we can to find out what happened, where it happened, how and why.”

The bus has been towed away.

Picture: Jason Hetman

All lanes are blocked near Troode Street and emergency services are on site.

Diversions are in place for north and southbound traffic on Rockingham Road via Barrington Street and Marvell Avenue.

It is believed the bus was travelling south when the fire occurred.

The West Australian

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