Missouri school bus bursts into flames while taking students home

A ride home for University City students seemed routine until a school bus burst into flames moments before everyone escaped just in time.
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 3:51 PM EDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV/Gray News) – A school bus in Missouri burst into flames as middle school students were heading home.

According to KMOV, everyone escaped the bus just in time, and no injuries were reported.

“It was kind of scary because I didn’t know what I was going to do,” explained eighth-grader Jaidyn Conners, who was onboard as smoke swirled from under the hood. “I had to hurry up and get off the bus.”

Battalion Chief Jon Bollinger said the fire could have been mistaken for a house fire based on the amount of smoke it produced.

The heat combined with the massive flames forced firefighters to call for more help.

Bollinger believes the fire started in the engine compartment and made its way into the cab.

The fire chief acknowledged the bus driver’s quick actions.

“His first action was to stop what he was doing and get everybody to safety, and it makes our job that much easier,” Bollinger said.

The school district released the following statement about the fire:

“Student safety should never be in jeopardy. The district is working with its bus service provider, Missouri Central, to investigate the cause. District officials responded to the scene when a mechanical issue causing a fire was reported on the bus. A replacement bus transported the five students safely home. A thorough investigation is underway in collaboration with the bus service provider, Missouri Central, and other appropriate parties. Students safely exited the bus prior to the fire. The district is very grateful to University City Fire Department, which responded immediately to ensure the safety of the students and nearby residents. This is a very unfortunate incident as the district continues to prioritize the safety and well-being of students.”

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