Island Explorer bus springs propane leak in downtown Bar Harbor

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff
Posted Sept. 23, 2012, at 6:59 p.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — Another Island Explorer bus sprung a propane leak on Sunday, but this time it did not result in a massive traffic standstill.

The latest incident occurred shortly after noon on Sunday, when a driver who had parked his bus next to the Village Green in downtown Bar Harbor thought he detected his vehicle leaking. He walked across the street to the Bar Harbor Fire Station to consult with firefighters, who then found liquid propane coming out the bottom, according to Assistant Fire Chief Matt Bartlett.

Firefighters quickly cordoned off the area and ushered people away from the bus due to safety concerns, Bartlett said. Yellow caution tape was tied up to keep people out of most of the Village Green and off Firefly Lane, Kennebec and Rodick streets.

While clearing the area, other firefighters trained a hose on the bus to help disperse the fumes and worked to shut off a valve on the bus. A propane technician from a local service company was called to the scene and later determined the leak had stopped. In all, the area around the bus was cordoned off for about two hours, according to Bartlett, before the bus was towed away safely to the Island Explorer maintenance and storage facility in Trenton.

The assistant chief said that, despite the inconvenience of having the area cordoned off, traffic was able to get through downtown Bar Harbor without a problem and businesses were open as usual.

In June, another Island Explorer bus sprung a leak when it pulled out in front of and then collided with a pickup truck on Route 3 in Trenton near the causeway to Mount Desert Island. The road was shut down while firefighters let all the flammable gas escape from the damaged tank, creating a traffic jam that stranded thousands of people for hours on either side of the causeway.

After the June accident, area transportation and safety officials met and reviewed the situation to be better prepared for another accident or leak involving an Island Explorer bus.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/09/23/news/hancock/island-explorer-bus-springs-propane-leak-in-downtown-bar-harbor/ printed on September 30, 2014