The Oberlin Review
<< Front page News November 4, 2005

A fire on the LCT

Obies who were probably dismayed enough to be heading back to school after a not-long-enough Fall Break were also less than thrilled when the Lorain County Transit bus that was carrying them packed together as tightly as sardines in a can, suddenly became filled with thick clouds of black smoke.

“If you’ve seen the movie Speed, it was a lot like that,” said College junior Charlie Sohne, who was sitting at the back of the bus, where the smoke was the heaviest. “If you haven’t seen the movie Speed, just imagine lots of smoke and people coughing.”

Nobody was harmed in the incident. However, the Carlisle Township Fire Department was called to the scene after the driver pulled the vehicle over and warned the students to be on the lookout for indications of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“I was feeling pretty calm,” reflected College junior Angad Singh, “but at the same time, while I was on the bus, I felt somewhat concerned about the people at the back of the bus who were experiencing the most smoke. I was also wondering how long it would take for the driver to pull over.”

Most students were, in fact, relaxed, although feeling mildly inconvenienced, as they filed out of the smoky bus and sat in the grass at the side of the road talking amongst themselves or excitedly watching the fire trucks arrive.

“The fire was out by the time we got there,” said Lieutenant Randy Feakins of the Carlisle Township Fire Department.

Indeed, none of the students saw the fire, which Feakins said was most likely caused by some kind of mechanical failure.

“It could have been an oil leak that sprayed onto the hot exhaust pipe,” he said. “And in the 21 years I’ve worked at the fire department, we’ve never had this sort of issue with the LCT.”

In a short time, a second LCT pulled in to take the students the rest of the way to campus.

“It was really fun when the LCT that’s designed like a trolley swooped in to take us back to school,” Sohne said.

“They should all look like trolleys,” Singh agreed.

Ezra Pincus-Roth, a College sophomore and member of the group Oberlin Transit that worked with LCT to create a special schedule to best accommodate students during the Fall Break rush to and from campus, offered his comment:

“Maybe one day, we’ll all be riding magnetic levitation trains to school and there will be no such fire,” he said. “What is important, though, is that everybody is safe and that LCT sent a bus shortly after to take care of stranded riders.”

LCT General Manager Tom Ferguson declined to comment on the incident.


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