Investigations and dismissals after tram catches fire in Bucharest

A tram running on line 25 caught fire near the AFI Palace Cotroceni shopping mall in Bucharest on Wednesday morning, August 23.

Two people had panic attacks, and five other passengers suffered contusions after trying to jump out of the tram when they saw the smoke coming out of the vehicle, according to the local media.

Those injured during the incident were taken to the hospital. Fortunately, none of them had life-threatening injuries.

Meanwhile, the Bucharest City Hall announced that a commission formed at the Bucharest public transport company RATB would investigate the causes of the incident.

Moreover, the mayor dismissed the management of the Bucharest City Hall’s Procurement Directorate, and the president of RATB’s Board of Directors resigned.

“I asked the RATB management to identify the causes that led to this incident and take the necessary technical measures to prevent such situations that could endanger the passengers. However, no matter the conclusions, one thing is certain: we must urgently renew the RATB car park, an outdated one, where no major investments have been made for many years,” said mayor Gabriela Firea.

She added that she decided to dismiss the management of the City Hall’s Procurement Directorate because she was “deeply dissatisfied” with the way this department has been operating, especially with the way it handled the tender for the purchase of new buses.

The Bucharest City Hall opened the bid to buy 400 buses for the city’s public transport network in early July. The contract was estimated at some RON 510 million (around EUR 113 million), without VAT. However, the Electronic Procurement System canceled the auction automatically in mid-August, due to “a technical malfunction,” according to the City Hall. The Municipality announced that it would resume the auction.

“I also analyzed how the management of RATB and the company’s Board of Directors provided technical support for this auction. In conclusion, this morning I accepted the resignation of the chairman of the Board of Directors of RATB,” the mayor said on Wednesday.

Irina Marica, [email protected]

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