Australia’s iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge is currently blocked to traffic as crews clean up from a commuter bus fire. The fire, which from photos apparently started near the rear motor, caused the bus to be well alight by the time Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) arrived on scene.
It was quickly knocked down and the bus is now being towed off the world famous landmark. Despite this, tonight’s evening commute will be chaos in Australia’s largest city. FRNSW tweeted that 30 people were evacuated from the bus & three are being assessed by NSW Ambulance.
As expected, when plumes of black smoke starts coming from one of the world’s most well know structures, people whip out their phones and boom – hundreds, if not thousands of images, photos and video, taken and posted to social media sites. The surge would have been noticed world wide by intelligence officers and the Sydney Harbour Bridge is began trending its way up the rankings.
This is very different from September 11th, 2011. Just 15 years ago, only a few people caught images and even less had a method of distributing them. Thus, that horror of 9/11 came to us by the major networks and traditional media sources.
Facebook did not exist until 2004. Twitter has only just turned ten years old. Disaster, catastrophes and bus fires will now come to you by the people, as shown by this fire. Up on the Bridge, the incident would have been visible far and wide, from office towers and commuter ferries on the Harbour, to people on the bridge traffic jam, or flying past on the Bridge trains.
From a documentary or fire-ground photography point of view, we chose this image that Claire Kimball tweeted out as a standout. Only thing missing is orange flame, but this captures the drama of the moment in one frame.
While other photos show clear images of people taking photos of the fire on the bridge, they miss the context – the iconic bridge.
Claire’s image captures:
- The iconic bridge in full context
- Australian & NSW Flags in full flight
- The light atop the crest of the bridge
- Smoke featured & clearly emitting from the bridge
- A unique angle showing residential housing
- And, the clincher, almost capturing the bridge at sunset
We are glad no one was seriously injured and congratulate Clarie on a telling, evocative and dramatic photograph.