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MBTA bus fire likely caused by failed AC compressor

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A fire on an MBTA bus that injured two workers last week in the Arborway Yard was likely caused by a failed air conditioner compressor, according to the agency’s Deputy General Manager Jeffrey Gonneville.

Gonneville said the bus was taken out of service because it did not have functioning air conditioning, and caught fire when it was parked in the Boston bus yard at approximately 3:15 p.m. on Aug. 4.

“The investigation for that is still preliminary, but we do feel very strongly that it was the result of an AC compressor that failed, and seized up on the vehicle,” he said at an MBTA board meeting. “We did conduct a full fleet inspection of all of this style, this type of vehicle, and there were no other buses that have been found with this particular defect.”

Gonneville said a more detailed inspection is underway to get to the bottom of why the AC compressor failed, and to answer other questions the T has about the vehicle and incident.

MBTA board member Bob Butler described the incident as “scary,” saying that the AC malfunction could happen again with other T buses.

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