NOXUBEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – It’s a nightmare for parents and school districts.
Two school buses in two different counties caught on fire Thursday morning.
Luckily, all students and both bus drivers made it out safe.
The Noxubee County School District says its still trying to figure out what caused the bus to go up in flames.
The superintendent and transportation director believe it could have something to do with the age of the bus.
They say they’re both glad everyone is okay.
Two bus fires in two different school districts break out into flames, before school Thursday morning.
This bus was on its daily route in Noxubee County when it happened.
“It was a student that notified the bus driver that it was on fire. So, the quick thinking of one of our students that was getting ready to get picked up, is how she really knew that the bus was on fire. She saw a little smoke, but she didn’t think it was on fire,” said Noxubee County School District Superintendent Rod Broadnax.
“I saw the bus driver and she came to me when I pulled up on the scene and she was smiling and I hugged her and she got on the other bus I had to pick up the kids, but the good thing is, she had just started her route and there wasn’t that many kids on the school bus,” said Noxubee County School District Safety Coordinator and Transportation Director, Tedrick Liddell.
Liddell says he’s thankful training and bus safety plans rolled into action.
“It helps because they knew exactly what to do. They evacuated just like we taught them to. Our bus driver called and said everything was okay.”
Broadnax says out of his twenty years in education, he’s never seen a school bus burn like this.
He says age is catching up with the fleet.
“Our buses are, I think, are older than any fleet that I’ve had in any district that I’ve ever been in and that’s what really has caused some financial distress, as well. Every time one breaks down, like yesterday morning, four broke down.”
That’s why several new buses will be rolling into town within the next two weeks to get the district through the rest of the school year and even more buses will arrive this fall.
“We will have a brand new fleet of buses in August, when school returns. The entire fleet will be new and that should save the district around $2 million. Our buses will be contracted out.”
Broadnax says the district will file the bus on their insurance and get the money for it.