Coolant leaks on C-Tran bus, sprays passengers

Chemical leaked through a vent at the back of the bus

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith



Three people were sprayed by coolant on a C-Tran bus in downtown Vancouver around noon today.

The bus was heading east on West Eighth Street when coolant began leaking through a ceiling vent at the back of the bus.

Vancouver resident Kevin Taylor, 48, and his 10-year-old daughter, Dora, were drenched in the chemical. They quickly got off the No. 3 bus after the driver pulled over near Esther Street.

Employees at the adjacent Umpqua Bank handed out bottled water, which the Taylors used to rinse off.

The Vancouver Fire Department arrived at the intersection and began spraying down the roadway to dilute the green liquid as it poured into a nearby storm-drain.

Capt. Tony Clary described coolant as a mild irritant that is poisonous if ingested. No one on the bus needed to go to the hospital, he said.

Kevin Taylor said he and his daughter got some coolant in their mouths, which they rinsed out with water. They were sitting in the back of the bus on their way to the Oregon Zoo when the spill occurred.

“We were a little shook up afterwards,” Kevin Taylor said. “If it had been hot, we’d have been covered in burns.”

A C-Tran supervisor drove the Taylors home so they could clean up. Taylor said he regularly commutes to work in Portland on C-Tran.

Jim Quintana, C-Tran spokesman, said that the bus has a climate control system in the roof, including lines above the windows. C-Tran has 10 of these buses, called Opuses, which were purchased in 2006. The fleet has been pulled from the roadway so C-Tran can figure out what happened and prevent it from happening again, Quintana said.