Sixteen students escaped injury after their school bus caught fire and became engulfed in flames. The incident reportedly happened on Thursday at around 3:30 P.M., when the driver of the bus smelled smoke. At that time, officials say that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) bus was taking 16 students home from South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Bus No 364 reportedly burst into flames near the intersection of Eastway Drive and Central Avenue, according to a statement from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
According to emergency responders, no one was injured in the fire. However, one person was treated for smoke inhalation at Carolinas Medical Center.
A video shot of the incident shows students escaping while the entire front of the bus is engulfed in flames.
Student Timoni Rushing told WSOC-TV that just before the fire, the bus was making clicking noises and broke down. “And that’s when the front just exploded,” said Rushing.
CMS noted the driver’s quick and immediate response to the fire, saying “While in transit, the driver smelled smoke, immediately stopped the bus, evacuated all students safely and notified emergency services.”
A replacement bus was sent out to pick up the sixteen students who escaped the flaming bus.
“Even if they have to get new buses, that’s something they should be thinking about,” said parent Temoe Cooper in an interview with the WSOC-TV news station.
The bus which caught fire was reportedly last inspected two weeks ago, according to WSOC-TV.
The CMS released a statement, saying that transportation officials with the school system will conduct an investigation. They will also look into and review the inspection and maintenance records of the bus.
Aerial shots of the incident showed the entire front of the bus engulfed and singed with fire.