Wake County and other school districts told to check school buses after fires

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Monday, November 20, 2017
School districts told to check buses after fires
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Schools districts throughout North Carolina are being told to go back and inspect some of their buses.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Schools districts throughout North Carolina are being told to go back and inspect some of their buses after two caught fire in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District.

The Department of Public Instruction sent out a memo Friday, which says in part: "This event provides a good opportunity to remind our maintenance staff of several key inspection items that must be taken seriously to eliminate potential causes of fire for these types of buses."

The incidents involve a certain bus make and model.

A DPI spokesperson says there could be a defect in the engine wiring.

Two buses caught fire in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District.

Wake County has 124 of the buses in it's fleet. Cumberland has 90, Durham 48, and Orange 31.

ABC11 has reached out to the Wake County Public Schools. In a statement, it said:

"The safety of our students is our top priority. WCPSS transportation officials routinely conduct thorough safety inspections of all buses every 30 days. This includes wire harnessing inspections. As an added precaution, we are currently conducting a special inspection of all Freightliner FS chassis buses."

Several moms we spoke with said they are thankful no children were hurt in the Charlotte incidents. 12 kids were on board one of the buses.

"I can't imagine being those parents. I just can't even fathom," said Cary resident Jaye Carroll.

"That's really scary," said Harnett County parent Brittany Caburn. "It would make me want to drive my kids to school and not put them on the bus."

DPI says all school districts are required to do bus inspections every 30 days.

The buses are manufactured by Thomas Built Buses and the company sent this statement:

"Thomas Built Buses' first and foremost priority is the safety of our passengers. Thomas Built Bus has just received notice of these fires and we are still gathering information to determine root cause. At this time we do not have sufficient details to comment."


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