VIDEO: State Patrol says a Richfield school bus with 20 passengers starts on fire, no injuries

Updated: January 13, 2020 10:11 PM

A school bus, with 20 people on board,  broke out in flames on a Minnesota highway Monday afternoon.


A MnDOT camera showed the Richfield school district bus with flames radiating along with smoke from the engine area.  Authorities responded to the scene on Interstate 494 at Carver Avenue around 3:30 p.m. Some students were seen standing on the side of the road.

Richfield Middle School said the bus was transporting seventh-grade boys to a basketball game in Maplewood when the engine caught fire.  The district said the bus driver noticed smoke coming in the vents from the engine and quickly pulled over and safely evacuated everyone. No injuries were reported. 

A second bus was sent to bring the team, their coach and the bus driver back to the middle school. All went home afterward. 

"We are extremely grateful that there were no injuries and that our driver was able to quickly and calmly evacuate students," Richfield Superintendent Steven Unowsky said. "His swift and decisive actions ensured students and staff were safe." 

The Minnesota State Patrol says they are investigating. A preliminary investigation showed the bus was four years old, and like all of the buses in the district, had been part of a yearly inspection by the State Patrol and passed. 

RMS said that there will be counselors on hand Tuesday for students or staff who may need support. 

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Tommy Wiita & Beth McDonough

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