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Egged faces shut down after 125 buses burn down

By Mason White 3:08 PM February 27, 2013
Old Egged bus 

By: Shifra Unger
Egged, which is the largest bus company in Israel, is facing the threat of a shut down after 125 public buses burned down over the past year, according to press reports in Israel.

Israel’s Fire Chief, Shachar Ayalon, is threatening the shut down unless a system is installed which can detect and prevent fires in each of its 3,000 buses.

Egged provides public bus service in Jerusalem and services between various cities and towns across the country.
Over the past year, 125 buses of several bus companies have burned down.

Last week, an Egged bus on Highway 1, which is the main Jerusalem to Tel Aviv highway, burned due to an engine malfunction. Earlier this week, an Egged bus burned in Be’er Sheva and another bus burned in Bet Shemesh.

Ayalon warned that some passengers on Egged are elderly and disabled and may not be able to evacuate quickly enough when a fire breaks out.

“If we wait until after the disaster, they all ask ‘where were the fire experts’, so I am announcing that if Egged does not install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on their buses, I will close the company down,” Ayalon told an Israeli newspaper.

The office of the fire chief had privately asked Egged to install a fire detection and prevention system on each of its buses, but Egged did not respond.
Ayalon said that he is giving the bus company 30 days to comply.