Seattle’s viaduct doom was compounded late Friday afternoon when traffic along I-5 was snarled after a fire broke out on a charter bus. Remarkably, the charter bus was transporting the Stanford University track and field team to a competition at the University of Washington. Stanford’s track team survived the fire unharmed.
The track team bus fire occurred near the South Spokane Street exit shortly after 2 p.m. Friday. Investigators with the Washington State Patrol believe the track team bus fire was caused by a short in the brake system of the charter bus.
There were 31 people on board when the bus broke down and they were all evacuated safely before the fire began. Washington State Patrol officers summoned a King County Metro commuter bus to the scene of the fire to safely escort them to their final destination.
❗️#Seattle: A vehicle fire is blocking all lanes of northbound I-5 at the West Seattle Bridge. Traffic is being directed to the Columbian Way/West Seattle off-ramp. IRT is en route and fire crews are at the scene. pic.twitter.com/JCQRSCOtWZ
— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) January 25, 2019
Seattle firefighters were forced to close all lanes of I-5 as they put out the track team bus fire. I-5 traffic traveling north was rerouted down Columbian Way while the bus wreckage was cleared. Demolition crews were able to load the bus wreckage unto a tow truck around 5 p.m. I-5 was reopened shortly thereafter.
The track team bus fire along with the ongoing Alaskan Way Viaduct closure forced the city of Seattle to issue a warning alert for commuters to avoid using I-5 until the wreckage was cleared.
Clean up of the track team bus fire was hampered when local firefighters were unable to find enough nearby water to fully put the fire out. The firefighters were eventually forced to close parts of Airport Way in order to connect their hoses to a viable water source.
Luckily, there were no one was hurt in the Stanford track team bus fire.
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