Education

SC school bus catches fire moments after dropping off dozens of students

Your child’s South Carolina school bus could catch on fire

The state’s schools chief says replacing mid-90s school buses that are prone to catching on fire is a top priority, but S.C. spending on buses is expected to fall short. In 2007, state lawmakers adopted a 15-year replacement cycle that the state l
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The state’s schools chief says replacing mid-90s school buses that are prone to catching on fire is a top priority, but S.C. spending on buses is expected to fall short. In 2007, state lawmakers adopted a 15-year replacement cycle that the state l

Dozens of South Carolina students got off a school bus moments before it caught fire Wednesday.

The 23-year-old school bus caught fire in Anderson County late Wednesday afternoon as it was on its way to pick up more students, according to multiple reports.

The bus that serves Anderson District 5, dropped off students from Homeland Park Primary School and Varennes Elementary School in Anderson about 15 minutes before its engine caught fire, according to district spokesman Kyle Newton, independentmail.com reported.

The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. as the bus was en route to Robert Anderson Middle School, according to foxcarolina.com.

No students were on the bus and the driver escaped safely.

In November, a school bus caught fire in Greenville County with 29 students on board. The driver pulled over, shut off the engine and evacuated the students and no one was injured.

South Carolina’s school buses are old and fire prone. As of May, 17 had caught fire or dangerously overheated since August 2015.

During the 2017 Legislative session, Gov. Henry McMaster vetoed $20.5 million from the state’s budget slated by lawmakers to replace aging school buses.

The state’s aging school-bus fleet at one point was declared the oldest, publicly operated bus system in the nation.

To address the problem, the S.C. Department of Education wants lawmakers to commit $70 million more in the state’s 2018-19 budget to help replace the oldest and most fire-prone buses.

Of the 5080 school buses in South Carolina, 400 date back to 1988-1990.

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