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Nease High School students burned on school bus

5:25 PM, Sep 27, 2013   |    comments
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- St. John's County Fire Rescue responded to an incident involving a school bus on C.R. 208.

A coolant line that runs from the rear of the school bus to the front of the bus burst while students were on their way to school Friday morning, according to the St. Johns County School District. The line runs on the floorboards under the windows and is encased in protective metal.

First For You, parents, if your students sees that the line is not encased in metal, tell the driver or a school official right away.

Julia, a 12th grader at Nease High School told First Coast News she has friends who normally ride bus 266 to school in the mornings.

"I'm glad they're OK," she said.

School bus 266 was traveling in the 4900 block of C.R. 208 at approximately 8:30 a.m. on the way to Nease High School when the incident occurred.

When the line ruptured, hot coolant spewed out, hitting several students causing reported burns.

"I feel really bad. I hope they're OK," Julia said. "I hope they're not injured too bad."

Three students were transported to Flagler Hospital and are all in stable condition. Two other students were evaluated on scene.

The Centers for Disease Control says Ethylene Glycol is a colorless odorless liquid founds in many consumer products. Exposure may cause skin or eye irritation.

The district spokeswoman said a similar incident happened in December 2012 on another 2010 model Blue Bird 84-passenger rear-engine bus. In that incident, a heater hose ruptured, spewing coolant. No students were hurt. The district installed caps on this model to prevent leaks. This most recent rupture happened under the rear wheel base, away from the cap.

"I think it's something that needs to be investigated a lot further," Nease High School parent, Donald Stauffer said. "Kids should not be hurt on the bus coming to school."

The incident is under investigation and the bus has been taken out of service. The district has 230 buses in its fleet. Of those, 15 are Blue Bird's 84-passenger rear-engine bus, according to the spokeswoman. Three buses are model year 2009 and 12 are model year 2010.

The district spokeswoman says once their investigation is complete, that will determine what action needs to be taken to protect students and that parents and students don't have to worry.

First Coast News is awaiting word from the Blue Bird bus company. When they get back to us, we'll let you know.

First Coast News

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