CLAYSVILLE (KDKA) – A tour bus fire in Washington County caused heavy delays on Interstate 70 Thursday morning.
According to police, the incident happened in the westbound lanes, near mile marker 9 between Claysville and Taylorstown around 6:30 a.m. The bus was blocking the westbound lanes, which forced traffic to be diverted off the previous exit. The westbound lanes reopened around 9:30 a.m.
The bus had 50 students from the Oldham County Middle School in Kentucky on board when the fire started. All were able to get out safely and there are no reported injuries.
The Toby Tours charter bus, which is based out of Louisville, Kentucky burst into flames just minutes after 50 students and five adults, including a school principal, exited.
The bus was headed back to Oldham County Middle School in Kentucky.
A spokesperson for the school said the eighth graders were headed home from a field trip to Washington, D.C. and New York City.
The bus driver was traveling westbound on I-70 when he noticed the bus smoking. He quickly pulled off to the side and evacuated everyone.
“Both lanes of the interstate were closed as a result of the fire and equipment on the interstate,” said Trooper Matt Jardine, from the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Washington.
School buses from West Virginia picked everyone up and took them to a nearby rest stop until a new charter bus could pick them up.
The operations manager of Toby Tours applauds the quick thinking of their bus driver.
He says their drivers are required to go through intense safety training four times a year.
Family members say everyone is back on the road and headed home to Kentucky.
School officials expect everyone to be home by dinnertime.
The cause of the fire is unclear right now, but the insurance company for Toby Tours will be looking into the cause.
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