Sun Tran bus burns on Tucson's south side

Posted: Updated:
By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

TUCSON, Ariz. -- A bus operated by Sun Tran, the municipal transit service in Tucson, burned Monday morning.  A spokesperson for the company says there were passengers on board but all, along with the driver, were able to escape.

Rural Metro Fire said it received numerous calls to 911 reporting the bus burning on Drexel Road near Palo Verde.  NoRural initially reported no passengers were on board, but Sun Tran says it was a Route 11 bus southbound toward the airport when the driver reported smoke on board.

A Tucson Fire unit spotted the column of black smoke and reported the fire to her department, but the location is actually outside city limits.

Eyewitnesses told Fox 11 News it took about 15 minutes to get the blaze out.

Michele Joseph, a spokesperson for Sun Tran, said the bus was operating on Route 11, which goes from the Tucson International Airport and generally follows Palo Verde/Alvernon to the area of River and Dodge.

She said the bus had been in operation for Sun Tran since 1997.  She said the driver notified Sun Tran of the fire and help all the passengers safely evacuate.

She said officials from the Pima County Sheriff's Department and Rural Metro Fire would investigate the cause.  The transit company is checking maintenance records on the vehicle now.