A tourist coach carrying passengers on the GC-1 caught fire this Thursday afternoon, while travelling along the southern highway. In the vehicle, besides the driver, there were 53 other people, according to reports from the Guardia Civil.
53 passengers were evacuated from the MAN Elite Touring vehicle, and firefighters from San Bartolomé de Tirajana and the Emergency Consortium managed to extinguish the flames, according to the 112 Emergencies and Security Coordinating Center (Cecoes), which received the alert at 14:53. The bus driver had noticed that a fire had started at the rear of the bus, stopped on the hard shoulder and ordered all the occupants to leave quickly. The flames spread rapidly through the cabin until it affected the entire vehicle.
According to emergency teams, several lanes of the GC-1 between Arguineguín and El Salobre had to be closed in both directions, using a private ambulance to prevent the passage of vehicles, at the request of the firefighters. For about 45 minutes, traffic was paralysed in both directions, reopening first southbound direction and then, 15 minutes later, in the northbound direction.
The CECOES activated the Polícia Local from San Bartolomé de Tirajana, the Guardia Civil Traffico, Civil Protection, two ambulances from the Canary Islands Emergency Service (SUC), and the Roads Service (Carreteras) of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria. Both fire departments managed to extinguish the flames using about 14,000 litres of water.
Two hours after the fire, traffic in the Maspalomas direction was still experiencing significant delays from the Arguineguín junction, and some traffic was diverted to the old Southern road (GC-500). The firefighters were still at the scene, cooling down the transport vehicle.
None of the passengers on the bus, nor the driver, were unharmed. Agents from the Guardia Civil Traffico, Maspalomas detachment, for their part, regulated the traffic and prepared the corresponding procedures to find out the causes of the fire, which, according to the first indications, could be due to a mechanical failure in the rear of the transport of passengers, sources have specified.
All the passengers were transferred to another bus, and for now, CECOES has reported no one needing medical attention.