E.on fire in a bus depot in Hanover has resulted in a loss of millions and a large-scale deployment of the fire brigade. According to the fire brigade, a fire broke out on Saturday afternoon in a vehicle hall of the Üstra transport company, in which electric buses were also parked, for a previously unknown cause. The fire brigade arrived with a large number and several turntable ladders. The fourth of five alarm levels was triggered, said fire department spokesman Hartmut Meyer. According to initial information, no one was injured. In the afternoon the fire was under control.
According to Üstra spokesman Udo Iwannek, the fire caused damage worth millions. A total of nine buses were burned out, including five electric buses, two hybrid buses, a diesel bus and a coach. The charging infrastructure was also damaged. Fortunately, a fire wall had withstood the flames, said Iwannek. Around 25 other buses that were parked in the hall would not have been damaged as a result.
The fire in the electric buses posed a challenge for the fire brigade during the extinguishing work. A high level of heat radiation emanates from the batteries in the buses, said fire department spokesman Meyer. It was therefore difficult for the rescue workers to get close to the scene of the fire. The hall, which was in danger of collapsing, also posed a risk. Unexpected help for the rescue workers came from the sky in the form of a heavy downpour. “That was excellent for the extinguishing work,” said Meyer.
If the batteries of electric cars catch fire, they can pop and form a huge cloud of soot. At times there was a dark cloud of smoke above the Üstra site in the Mittelfeld district. The population was asked to keep windows and doors closed. Initially, however, there was no information about pollutants in the air.
Due to the fire brigade, the transport companies in the Mittelfeld district could not go to several stops, as Üstra announced on Twitter. Due to the fire in the vehicles, no restrictions in local traffic are foreseeable at the beginning of the week, said Iwannek. Then reserve buses are to be used.