University City school bus bursts into flames while dropping kids off

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – A ride home for University City students seemed routine until a school bus burst into flames moments before everyone escaped just in time.

The bus went up in smoke Wednesday afternoon as Brittany Woods Middle School students were heading home. Eighth-grader Jaidyn Conners was on board when the driver stopped near Lynn and Lamb Avenues when smoke swirled from under the bus’ hood.

“It was kind of scary because I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had to hurry up and get off the bus,” Conners said.

Jaidyn’s mother, Dana, said she hasn’t heard a word from the school district since the frightening scenario.

“This could have been a whole different outcome. We could have really been mourning the loss of our kids. That fast so I’m just so thankful,” Danna Conners said. “A better emergency plan needs to be put in place I feel because right now I still haven’t heard from the school district and I still haven’t heard from transportation. I’ve talked to other parents who had children who were on the bus and no one has reached out to us.”

The heat combined with massive flames forced firefighters to dispatch more manpower. University City Fire Department Battalion Chief Jon Bollinger said the smoke appeared that it “could have been a house fire based on how much smoke produced from that fire alone.”

It took two crews to put it out. Bollinger believes the fire started in the engine compartment and made its way into the cab.

Bollinger acknowledged the bus driver whose quick actions.

“His first action was to stop what he was doing and get everybody to safety and it makes our job that much easier,” he said.

News 4 received the following statement from the school district:

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