I’m usually of the opinion that flamethrowers make everything better. Birthday party? Add a flamethrower. Funeral? Add a flamethrower. Business deal? Add a flamethrower! But one place a flamethrower probably shouldn’t be is on your evening commute. This guy didn’t get the memo.
The incident reportedly took place around 5:30 p.m. on November 8, according to the Independent, a British newspaper. The flamethrower-wielding man jumped from an ice cream truck and onto the city bus. The incident, in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn, was recorded by bystanders and uploaded to social media by various people.
The stunt was a part of a planned staged event by rapper Dupree G.O.D. to shoot a music video, NBC New York reports. The aforementioned ice cream truck was part of the stunt, and local businesses closed for it. But it was an in-service MTA bus with passengers on board.
As he shot the flames, some of the fire appeared to hit the bus, street and ice cream truck. It appears the bus in the incident is an Orion Bus Industries Orion VII NG Hybrid. Orion buses in this configuration store lithium-ion batteries in the rectangular dome on the bus’s roof. While the quickly extinguishing flames probably didn’t injure anyone, it’s still not a bright idea to be playing with fire near a bank of batteries.
The fire-shooter also appeared to throw some flames close to a bystander. While the end result looked pretty dramatic, things could clearly have gone very wrong. New York has a bill in the state Senate to make owning a flamethrower a felony. While it is not yet illegal to own and use a flamethrower, you probably shouldn’t be discharging one in traffic while jumping around on moving vehicles.
Passengers on the bus were evacuated, and the NYPD is investigating. Look, I love a good flamethrower performance, but keep it off public transportation. Public transit commutes are already a hassle, don’t make it harder than it needs to be. These people just want to get home.