Passengers freed after hydro wires topple onto Toronto transit bus
Published Monday, August 20, 2012 1:49PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 20, 2012 3:12PM EDT
A bus driver is being called a hero after a crane at a west-end construction site tipped over Monday afternoon, taking down multiple hydro poles and trapping passengers on a TTC bus.
The incident occurred around 1:20 p.m. when a crane tipped at 2233 Kipling Ave., near Elmhurst Drive, knocking down hydro wires onto the street below.
Some of the wires fell on top of a TTC bus, trapping passengers inside.
There were 30 people on the bus and Toronto police Supt. Ron Tavener said the fast-thinking bus driver kept everyone calm and on the vehicle.
“The hydro wires that came down were live and were carrying a lot of voltage,” Tavner told reporters. “She really is a hero.”
Passengers were initially told to remain on the bus as police, firefighters, paramedics and Toronto Hydro crews were called to the scene to deal with the situation.
Toronto police said that passengers were taken off the bus at around 2:20 p.m. and all occupants appeared to be OK at that time.
Tavener said quick-thinking emergency responders and teamwork between the TTC and Toronto Hydro helped prevent any injuries.
“They really swung into action and worked together here,” he said.
The operator was initially trapped in the crane, which was also in danger due to the live wires.
“He did a very wise thing and stayed where he was until the hydro was shut off,” Tavner said.
The crane operator was rescued by a firefighter and a paramedic at around 2:30 p.m.
He was taken to hospital with minor injuries, Tavner said.
According to Toronto Hydro, about 400 customers in the immediate area were left without power as crews attended to the downed wires.
TTC 45 Kipling buses were also diverted around the area.
There was no word on what caused the crane to topple over, but the Ministry of Labour was called in to investigate.
Tavner said that the wires could still have some charge in them and the area was still considered dangerous.
He said he anticipates that parts of Kipling Avenue would be closed for “days,” since the wires and crane both needed to be cleaned up and the Ministry of Labour would need to conduct its investigation.