BURLINGTON (CBS) – A coach bus caught fire Wednesday afternoon in Burlington, though all passengers were able to get off safely.
Flames broke out on the Local Motion bus on Route 128 North around 1 p.m. No injuries were reported.
Firefighters from Lexington and Burlington were on scene to put the fire out.
“He [bus driver] said it was a flat tire as soon as he got out of the bus, and he had noticed it was burning. It’s pretty common for those big tires to catch fire for the heat,” said Lexington Fire Chief Derek Sencabaugh.
The ramp from Route 128 to Route 3 was closed due to the bus fire.
Passenger Sarah Hill said everyone on the bus got off quickly. “We saw the smoke and immediately evacuated. We were off the bus in about 30 seconds,” she said.
In a statement, Tufts University said the bus was carrying about 20 international students who are participating in a summer English immersion program. The bus was on its way to a field trip at Lowell Mills.
“We are grateful for the alert and calm response of the students, faculty, staff and the bus driver, which contributed to everyone emerging safely from the situation,” Tufts said. “After the incident was under control, the students returned to campus and enjoyed the remainder of their afternoon activities.”
Local Motion released a statement saying it passed a fleet wide audit in 2018. They are investigating what caused the fire.
“Their scores are in some areas of perfect,” said transportation safety consultant Joe Mokrisky of Capitol Motor Carrier Compliance.
“It’s a piece of equipment, things are going to break,” Mokrisky added. “When you look at something that happens like this, and there’s a potential danger everything was done the right way.”
You can check a bus company’s safety record through the Federal Motor Carrier Administration.