Near CASTANA, Iowa — A school bus driver and two students here were able to safely evacuate their bus on Monday morning just before it caught fire.

The bus driver had just started picking up students, and stopped at a home to pick up the two students who were aboard the bus at the time of the incident, KCAU9 reports. The students and the bus driver then heard a loud bang and exited the bus. The bang was so loud that the students’ mother told the news source that she heard it from inside their home. She also said that she saw smoke coming from the back tires, and that flames had spread throughout the bus before firefighters could put them out.

The students and driver evacuated the bus safely and were picked up and taken to school, according to West Monona Community School District’s Facebook page.

Monona County Sheriff Jeffrey Pratt confirmed to KTIV that the fire started in the back of the bus and the driver tried to extinguish it, but was unable to do so. The bus is considered a total loss, according to the news source.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to KTIV.

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