Odor issue forces PDY bus out of service

An odor issue on a Pike-Delta-York schools bus has put that bus out of commission and has some parents concerned.

The district transportation department was notified Monday of a potential maintenance issue on bus #2 involving an odor. The district’s mechanic then drove the bus and looked for smoke, leaks in the exhaust and fuel leaks, but found nothing, according to a letter to parents from Superintendent Ted Haselman.

The bus was then sent out on the afternoon route. At 3:48 p.m. on Monday, Lyons Fire and Rescue was dispatched to County Road L and County Road 10-2 for possible carbon monoxide poisoning. They were asked to check children who had just gotten off a Pike-Delta-York bus for carbon monoxide.

Both peripheral oxygen saturation and carbon monoxide levels were checked and nothing out of the ordinary was found, according to a letter from Lyons-Royalton Fire Department.

The Delta Community Fire Department was independently called Monday afternoon to investigate the possibility of airborne contaminants. The department was also called by the district maintenance department on Tuesday for additional screening.

The fire department had equipment to check for carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen cyanide, flammables and oxygen levels. No issues were found.

“The fire department’s ability to check for hazards is limited, ” Delta Fire Chief Scott J. Smith said in a letter to the bus mechanic. “Given the tools at hand, my opinion is that the vehicle in question does not have an issue with any of the gasses we are equipped to detect.”

The bus was put back on route Tuesday afternoon.

During the afternoon route on Wednesday, students commented that they could once again detect an odor, according to the letter from Haselman.

“In response, the maintenance department immediately transferred students onto a different bus and brought bus #2 back into the garage for repeat testing,” said Haselman. “Again, nothing harmful was found, though the maintenance staff did discover a small amount of steam emanating from a loose water hose casing near the floor inside the bus.”

The letter went on to say the hose “transfers water with a small amount of antifreeze, which can account for the odor reported by the students, which is distinctive but not harmful.”

That issue was being repaired Thursday morning.

The bus will not return to regular service until it has been cleared by a CAT dealer.