School bus explodes moments after kids evacuated

By Douglas Ernst

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A Florida school bus exploded into flames on Tuesday just moments after its driver removed all the children inside.

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Witnesses in Apopka told WKMG-6 that students from Piedmont Lakes Middle School had just been evacuated off their regular school bus when it burst into a raging inferno. The driver had reported mechanical issues and pulled over at the first opportunity.

“All of a sudden, kaboom! There was one explosion, and then a few minutes later another explosion,” witness Doug Alexander said. “I asked the bus driver, ‘Did everybody get out OK?’ and he said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘Do you know what happened?’ and he said, ‘It started smoking. We smelled smoke.’ I said, ‘Do you know where it came from?’ He said, ‘The air conditioner.'”

Sean Rogers told the station that he was grateful to the driver for quickly getting his 14-year-old daughter off the vehicle.

“I would tell him thank you very much for saving all those children’s lives,” Rogers said. “The kids that were on the bus with her, they got transferred to the other bus before it caught on fire, so she was one of the only few that actually got to see it go up in flames and catch some of the explosions.”

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Detectives told the CBS affiliate it was still undetermined what caused the explosion.

A school bus in Apopka, Florida, explodes just moments after children are let off by the driver, April 5, 2016
A school bus in Apopka, Florida, explodes just moments after children are removed by the driver, April 5, 2016

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