ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Two school buses caught fire in two separate incidents here on Monday.
In Maryland Heights, a Special School District of St. Louis County bus was transporting students and staff members to Pattonville High School when a mechanical problem caused a fire on the bus, according to a post on the district’s Facebook page. The driver immediately stopped the bus in a parking lot at the intersection of McKelvey Rd. and Dorsett Rd., according to the district. All passengers were able to safely evacuate the bus.
A second bus was dispatched to the site, according to Special School District of St. Louis County, and the students were able to continue on their route to the high school. The district added that it appreciates the quick response of the driver, staff, and students on board to get everyone off the bus safely.
The Maryland Heights Fire Protection District confirmed in a post on its Facebook page that a brake malfunction is suspected to have caused the fire.
Meanwhile, in South City, another school bus caught fire after experiencing a mechanical issue.
A St. Louis Public Schools bus, operated by First Student, was transporting one student home from Mann Elementary School when it caught fire on Interstate 44, Fox 2 Now reports.
Capt. Leon Whitener of St. Louis Fire Department said that the bus driver told authorities that while he was traveling on the interstate, a motorist was able to honk and notify him about the fire, and that he was able to safely pull the bus off onto the exit ramp, according to the news source. Whitener told Fox 2 Now that a woman standing near the exit ramp managed to help the driver get the student off the bus before it was engulfed in flames.
Whitener added that it appears the fire may have started in the engine of the bus and quickly spread through the passenger compartment.
View photos of the school bus fire in Maryland Heights, posted on the Maryland Heights Fire Protection District's Facebook page, below.