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Canada

Downed bus trolley wires in Vancouver won’t be cleared until Friday due to job action

Vancouver commuters got a dramatic showcase Thursday of how the ongoing transit worker job action could impact public safety.

TransLink said a transit bus brought down live trolley wires near Seymour and Robson streets in downtown Vancouver around 6 p.m., bringing traffic to a brief standstill.

Vancouver Fire Rescue Services confirmed a mother and child were trapped inside their vehicle due to the wires, but were safely extracted without any injuries.

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Witnesses told Global News several other bystanders and drivers were nearby when the live wires fell.

It’s not known exactly what caused the wires to come down.

However, both Vancouver Fire and TransLink confirmed that because of the overtime ban for Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) maintenance workers, the wires would not be fully repaired until Friday morning.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver transit strike to escalate Friday as talks break down

TransLink crews were able to bring the wires off the street and out of reach of the public before leaving.

The intersection has been cleared and closed to traffic, with police rerouting drivers around the scene. It’s not yet known when the intersection will reopen.

The overtime ban has been in place since Nov. 1 after talks broke down between CMBC and the union representing 5,000 bus and SeaBus operators and maintenance workers.

Hopes of a deal were again dashed Thursday when a new round of talks broke down, leading the union to announce an overtime ban for bus drivers beginning Friday.

Transit talks break down, union set to escalate on strike action Friday

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