Oran Mor escapes bus fire on journey to Ohio
The Grade 1 Oran Mor Pipe Band of New York escaped injury and avoided any loss of equipment when the band’s bus caught fire and was destroyed as the group was journeying to a competition in Oberlin, Ohio.
According to Pipe-Major Andrew Douglas, the bus caught fire about 40 miles from their destination due to a jammed wheel bearing, which set the tires aflame. The band’s pipers managed to take their pipes as they exited, and Douglas said the drummers fortunately loaded their drums at the front of the storage compartment, saving them from the fire that started at the rear of the bus.
“Only the cases suffered damage,” he said, “the drums themselves were fine. The bass sticks: not so lucky! Burned to a crisp.”
Because of smoke damage to uniforms, and a few even completely burned, the band was allowed to compete in civvies at the games.
Click here to see a video of the bus fire.
In July 2007 bus of the Memorial Pipe Band of Dookinella, Ireland, also caught fire, coincidentally when the band was traveling to an event in Ohio.
Oran Mor was recently in the news due the band’s entry in Grade 2 at the 2008 World Pipe Band Championships, despite it being asigned to Grade 1 by its home organization, the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association.