Bus bursts into flames during student trip

By Arnold Wyrick - bio | email

MAKANDA, IL (KFVS) - It started out as a camping adventure for a group of 7th grade students out of Saint Louis, it almost ended when the bus they were riding on burst into flames.

Shortly after 11 a.m. Monday a group of students with Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School were on their way to SIU's Touch of Nature Center, when their bus went up in flames on North Illinois Avenue in Carbondale.

"We had to get off the bus pretty quickly," said 7th Grade Dean of Students Andy Kay.

"The fire spread very quickly after we got off the bus. And as a result of the smoke damage and water damage from the fire department we had some things damaged," Kay added.

All the boys made it off the burning bus safely and to their destination for three days of fun and adventure at Touch of Nature.

"You worry initially, but really things were just like we were dealing with a flat tire and getting the kids off the bus. And then the flames came. I would've been a whole lot more worried if there had been kids on the bus," Kay said.

The boys first day was cut a little short by the fire but, they made up for it by going on a canoe ride on Little Grassy Lake on Monday afternoon.

"A lot of excitement for the kids, but everyone is safe. That's why we're obviously happy and continuing on to what should be a good week," said Kay

The driver of the charter bus, Trina Gill-Swims was given a citation for a violation on her classification on her license.

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