Smoke inside an 8X-Bayshore Express (updates)

Photo by LiveSOMA

Update 10:29 a.m.: LiveSOMA now has photos of the removal of the smoked-out bus (wasn’t that a story at our last live event?).

Update 9:49 a.m.: Eyewitness Brooke has these details:

I was about to walk into Whole Foods on 4th at Harrison when I heard a commotion across the street. I looked over and saw several people running out of long Muni bus, the 8 line. A big purple cloud was coming from the back of the bus. It looked like a very particulate smoke, and people appeared to have some of the smoke powder on them. I stopped to see if I should call 911, if they looked hurt. They were pretty much freaking out and looked scared, but they didn¹t look hurt. Then I saw the driver walking to the back to assess the situation, so I didn¹t think it was necessary to get nvolved. I went into whole foods to buy a couple of things. When I came out of Whole Foods about 5 minutes later, the cloud was gone, but on the sidewalk and street there was a layer of violet-purple stuff on the ground about the length of the back half of the bus. It appeared that several of the people that had been on the bus were still there talking to the bus driver about what had happened.

Original post: @jblebrun reports of smoke inside an 8X:

Whoa.. muni 8x suddenly filled with fine white powder… looked like smoke. Entire bus was covered by white cloud. 4th and Harrison

LiveSOMA has photos and a story:

The bus driver explained how the whole bus filled with white smoke to the point where she couldn’t see and had to stop. Her quick reaction prevented any injuries, although an SFFD Ambulance arrived a few minutes later to double check the situation. Passengers were also asked to fill out ‘comment card’ type sheets that allow Muni to follow up.

Anyone else witness this? Any idea what happened?


  • Allan McMillan

    This is the on-board fire extingusher going off. It can go off automatically in the event of an engine fire or it can be triggered manually by the Operator. 99.9% are triggered accidently by the operator

  • Jason LeBrun

    I wish I had snapped a picture at the peak fo it. I was at Peet’s (right on the corner of 4th and Clara) and heard the commotion. At the moment I looked over, there was so much powder in the air, that all you could see was a white cloud — no bus. It dispersed fairly quickly though.

    A few older ladies who spoke only Chinese were wailing and crying as if the world was ending, and one kept pointing to her knee. But it seems that she was fine, and maybe just bumped her knee while exiting. Drama queen!

    That must have been a pretty dramatic experience from the inside, although I can’t say that I’m sorry to have missed it. 😉

  • brandi

    This must be all too common on the 8. I took these back in January at 6th and Bryant.

  • Alex

    Those buses (and their 40ft cousins) had pretty serious overheating (and noise — related to the cooling fans) problems when they were first ordered. Even now, all of the anti-smog equipment in the dinky engine compartment gets hot, by design, so it’s not too surprising to me to see that the fire extinguishers go off from time to time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *