Mechanics fix fire hazard on Handi-Vans - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mechanics fix fire hazard on Handi-Vans

A Handi-Van burns in a February 1st, 2011 incident on the H-2 Freeway A Handi-Van burns in a February 1st, 2011 incident on the H-2 Freeway
James Burke James Burke
One of the riders of the Handi-Vans One of the riders of the Handi-Vans

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A fire that destroyed a Honolulu Handi-Van led mechanics to a problem they were able to fix before more fires started.

The van burst into flames on the H-2 Freeway February 1st, 2011. The driver was alone and escaped unhurt.

An investigation showed the fire began when a worn bracket caused an electrical short. The City and Oahu Transit Services, which operates TheHandi-Van, pulled all similar vans, 76 in the fleet of 166, off the road to be inspected. The temporary fleet reduction caused some delays in passenger pick-ups.

"Safety is number one. So we have to make sure that the vehicles are all safe and that they are working the way that they are supposed to be working, that there's no problem on those vehicles that are similar to the one that caught fire," said city Public Transit Division Chief James Burke.

Management at OTS told Hawaii News Now most of the vans were in good working order and were returned to the road. Others needed a new bracket before being put back in service.

"We're actually concerned about everybody, but especially persons with disabilities and individuals who would have a hard time getting on or getting out of their seat independently," Burke said.

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