BANGOR, Maine — A Bangor Community Connector city bus broke down while making part of its run, belching out a cloud of smoke that obscured much of the area around the bus for about 50 to 75 yards on Union Street Tuesday afternoon.
The smoky exhaust was so thick, one portion of Union Street near the intersection with Hammond Street looked like the scene of a bad house fire.
“My guess, if it was putting out that much smoke, is that an injector went bad on the bus,” said Joe McNeil, Community Connector superintendent. “It’s unburned fuel going into the cylinder that is causing so much smoke.”
McNeil said a failure like this one is rare.
“When they fail, they fail in different ways. Some are catastrophic like that one, and some get progressively worse and much more gradually,” he explained. “Most of them are incremental. It’s pretty rare for that to happen.”
McNeil was attending a meeting in Augusta at the time of the incident, which occurred around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, but checked into it when asked about it.
“Apparently, it started running rough while it was in service over in Brewer, so they called dispatch and they sent another bus over to replace it,” McNeil said. “They were bringing it back to the garage when it started getting a lot worse.”
McNeil later verified that the 2000 New Flyer bus, which is 30 feet long and seats 30 passengers, had been taken back to the Bangor fleet maintenance garage on Maine Avenue for repair. He said that as of 4 p.m., the exact problem hadn’t been diagnosed yet.