Driver’s quick thinking credited with saving lives in bus fire
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A scary field trip for students in Brunswick County, when their activity bus caught fire on the way back to school. It happened this afternoon near NC 87 and Funston Road.
Forty people from Leland Middle School were on the activity bus. They were returning from a field trip around 1:30 p.m. when the bus driver heard a loud “pop” and then pulled off the road.
Flames tore through the entire length of it. Despite all the damage no one was hurt.
The driver, who is also a Leland Middle School teacher, pulled off the road after hearing the pop, noticed smoke, and quickly got all the students off the bus. He then called 911.
“The quick and decisive action of the driver and the school’s personnel was really helpful,” Brunswick Co. Emergency Services Director Anthony Marzano said. “That’s exactly what they should’ve done and that kept it from being a potentially bad situation for everyone involved.”
A bad situation, because within minutes, flames had engulfed the activity bus. Then, a tire exploded and flew up in the air, finally landing in a yard nearby.
Firefighters, the sheriff’s office, emergency services and the school superintendent all responded.
The school district says the fire started at the rear of the bus. It was reported that the tires were on fire, but because this was a rear-engine bus, it could’ve been the engine that was on fire.
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