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Transport bureau seeks public opinion on bus escape window

A SPECIALLY designed escape window will soon be mandatory on local buses to improve emergency capabilities.

Three new buses each carrying a different type of escape window are now being displayed at the Caoxi Road transit hub to canvass opinion on the best model and improvements.

New buses will also have engine overheating warnings and automatic extinguishers in case of engine fire, officials with the Shanghai Communications, Transport and Port Bureau said yesterday.

The bureau lifted bus safety standards in April.

The new standards required buses to have four opening windows - one near the driver's seat, one near the back door and two near the rear corners. Older buses will be gradually refitted.

But now the transport authorities want larger, dedicated escape windows after the June 5 Chengdu bus blaze, in which 27 people died and 74 were injured in the bus that had completely sealed windows.

Most local air-conditioned buses do not have any escape window.

"Windows on local air-conditioned buses were designed to completely seal to avoid arguments between passengers about opening windows for fresh air or keeping them closed to keep the air-conditioning working efficiently. But now the top concern is safety," said Wang Jianjun, an official with one of the bus producers authorized to work on the window designs.

The display will finish today and suggested improvements will be incorporated into a final design, officials said.


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