Nacogdoches ISD school bus catches fire in drop-off line; no one hurt

Published: Sep. 15, 2016 at 3:41 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2016 at 10:43 PM CDT
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Source: Lydia Delgado
Source: Lydia Delgado
Source: Lydia Delgado
Source: Lydia Delgado
Source: KTRE staff
Source: KTRE staff
Source: KTRE staff
Source: KTRE staff

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches ISD school bus caught on fire in the drop-off line at the Fredonia Elementary campus Thursday morning.

Five students were on the bus at the time of the fire, and they all got off safely.

"I am very proud of the bus driver Loyce Baxter and bus aide Ms. Hicks for how they handled the situation. They are trained on what to do when such an incident occurs," said Stacy Lampkin NISD's transportation director. They stayed focused and calm. They followed procedures to ensure the safety of all our students," said NISD Transportation Director Stacy Lampkin.

According to a press release, NISD Bus No. 84 had an electrical fire at about 7:20 a.m. Thursday that was caused when a transmission line rubbed against a battery cable. The Nacogdoches Fire Department was called out to scene.

"Our top priority is the safety of our students," said Grey Burton, NISD's assistant superintendent for administrative services. "I am glad to say our bus driver and staff at Fredonia Elementary handled the situation correctly and all the students were safely removed from the bus in a timely manner."

The press release stated that NISD's Transportation Department will be contacting the students' parents to let them know their children are OK.

A parent shot video of the bus catching on fire and school employees using a fire extinguisher on the flames.

In our KTRE investigation we found that in the last 12 months 8 NISD buses have been involved in insurance claims totaling damage of 19 thousand dollars.

According to transportation most of these incidents happen due to other drivers texting and not paying attention.

"Loading and unloading is the most dangerous times for a school bus and students, that's when 90 percent of your accidents happen when they're unloading or loading kids because people don't pay attention." Lampkin said.

Lampkin says school buses are still quite safe.

"School buses are one of safest modes of transportation by the way their built. They're built compartmentalized. Over every seat on the school bus there's a mettle strip on the roof that also protects them. That protects them if they roll over, it keeps the tops from collapsing so yes they are the safest mode of transportation." Lampkin said.

All school bus drivers are also required to go through very extensive training before they can get behind the wheel.

"Once you're hired through Nacogdoches ISD you then go through 20 hours of driving behind the wheel, and a  20 hour class room that includes ongoing training at all times.Lampkin said."

The school claims that child safety is always their top priority.

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