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Students escape injury after school bus bursts into flames in Sayreville

Police say that all of the people on the bus were able to get off safely and no one was hurt.

Naomi Yané

May 14, 2024, 8:36 PM

Updated 37 days ago

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School children narrowly escaped injury after their school bus went up in flames Tuesday afternoon.
Parents whose kids were coming off the bus told News 12 New Jersey there were about eight kids on the bus when that fire started. They all got off within moments of the bus bursting into flames.
Courtney Averett lives in the neighborhood and describes what she heard.
"All of a sudden, I heard a loud boom, and it shook the whole house,” she says.
Video sent to News 12 by 10-year-old Bryce Ayers showed a mini school bus engulfed in flames and thick black smoke billowing from the vehicle that was stopped in the middle of Louis Street in Sayreville around 4 p.m.
"We saw smoke in the air. We decided to drive towards the smoke then I realized there was a school bus on fire. I had to make sure no one was injured,” Ayers says.
Jorge Vazquez’s 8-year-old son Ethan had just gotten off the bus and that’s when he noticed smoke coming from the front of the vehicle.
"I quickly noticed that the smoke gradually got worse from white smoke to dark black smoke,” Vazquez says.
Vazquez then alerted the bus driver and the bus aid, and they quickly evacuated the remaining kids to the Vazquez’s backyard.
"I was able to create a safe distance from them by putting them in the backyard,” he says.
According to the superintendent of Sayreville Public Schools, parents were notified immediately and a replacement bus was on the scene within minutes
According to the fire chief, this was a newer bus that likely had lithium-ion batteries powering accessories on the bus and that’s why foam was used to snuff out the flames instead of water.
The cause is still under investigation, but officials are leaning towards some sort of engine malfunction.


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