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#4603587 - 12/14/17 02:58 PM Iowa school bus fire kills two
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline


Registered: 05/26/14
Posts: 3396
Loc: Columbus,Nebraska
For those familiar with diesel powered school buses. On Tuesday near Oakland,Iowa, a school bus caught fire and the driver and only passenger perished. The bus interior was gutted, but the tires did not burn. Appears bus backed into a gully trying to turn around in a rural farm yard. My question is where did enough fuel come from so rapidly that a 74 year old man and a 16 year old girl couldn't get out of the bus? This whole incident probably occurred in less than sixty seconds from the girl getting on the bus and the rear of the bus overhanging a ditch. NTSB is investigating. Seems like this kind of a tragedy always happens during the holiday season.

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#4603857 - 12/14/17 08:09 PM Re: Iowa school bus fire kills two [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5622
Loc: South Florida
It does seem rather weird that only two people couldn't get off the bus. Perhaps the girl was special needs or handicapped? I cant fathom how this even happens. There are emergency exits, and it should only take 3-5 seconds to get off a bus.
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#4603863 - 12/14/17 08:15 PM Re: Iowa school bus fire kills two [Re: bubbatime]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10136
Loc: OH
Only two people on the bus at the time of the accident is how I read it.

Article


Edited by SatinSilver (12/14/17 08:18 PM)

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#4604308 - 12/15/17 09:57 AM Re: Iowa school bus fire kills two [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5236
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ending up backed into a ditch isn't one of those situations that's going to throw people like rag dolls.

My best guess is that either somehow that bus just went up faster than a Roman candle (diesel bus? Really?), or maybe the driver started to have some sort of episode that triggered the whole thing and the girl was trying to save him when she was overcome by the smoke? A stroke? Fainted or mental episode?

Most of us know how noxious diesel fumes are after being burnt through an engine. Imagine you're all of a sudden living in a pitch black cloud of it.

That's just strange, and really sad. Nobody should ever have to go out like that.
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#4604395 - 12/15/17 11:23 AM Re: Iowa school bus fire kills two [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey]
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline


Registered: 05/26/14
Posts: 3396
Loc: Columbus,Nebraska
As of today,12/15/17, NTSB is still baffled about what caused the fire. The rear of the bus was not damaged when bus rolled into side of bank. Hood was consumed by the fire. The deceased were the only occupants. The girl was an active sixteen year old with no physical limitations, but the driver had a bad back and was scheduled for surgery soon.NTSB told Omaha World Herald that they have investigators with expertise in several different areas examining the bus.The bus also has side window egress. Whatever happened took place in the short time the girl got on the bus and the driver backing across the ditch. Probably less than a minute. The girl's mother looked out the window to watch the bus leave the driveway and it was already engulfed in flames.

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#4604747 - 12/15/17 05:41 PM Re: Iowa school bus fire kills two [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey]
Superflop Offline


Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 420
Loc: Seattle
School buses dont have fuel lines in The passenger space. The fuel tanks have a protective cage around them. The fuel tank is not in the rear but is more forward somewhere around the front third/half of the bus. The seat covering are supposed to be fire resistant. The floor is covered plywood. If the fuel had started burning under the bus it wouldve made quite a bit of smoke before breaching into the passenger compartment.




Edited by Superflop (12/15/17 05:43 PM)
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#4605023 - 12/16/17 12:22 AM Re: Iowa school bus fire kills two [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5236
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
This morning while doing our rollout, I kept thinking how this could have happened. It just doesn't make any sense.

Diesel fuel is a pain to ignite. I've watched idiots trying to purge fuel lines spray a ton of diesel right all over hot exhaust and turbochargers without so much as a hint of flame.

I hate to say this, but due to the extreme unlikelihood of all of this, I'm starting to suspect foul play.
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#4605370 - 12/16/17 12:55 PM Re: Iowa school bus fire kills two [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey]
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline


Registered: 05/26/14
Posts: 3396
Loc: Columbus,Nebraska
Didn't see anything about this incident in the Omaha World Herald this AM so guess NTSB has not released any new information about ongoing investigation.

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#4605379 - 12/16/17 01:03 PM Re: Iowa school bus fire kills two [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey]
Crispysea Offline


Registered: 04/14/17
Posts: 402
Loc: TN USA
The linked article said it was electrical. Maybe it had been smoldering for a while. Sad story all around.


Edited by Crispysea (12/16/17 01:06 PM)

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#4611843 - 12/23/17 05:56 AM Re: Iowa school bus fire kills two [Re: Superflop]
Jarlaxle Offline


Registered: 02/02/12
Posts: 8163
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Superflop
School buses dont have fuel lines in The passenger space. The fuel tanks have a protective cage around them. The fuel tank is not in the rear but is more forward somewhere around the front third/half of the bus. The seat covering are supposed to be fire resistant. The floor is covered plywood. If the fuel had started burning under the bus it wouldve made quite a bit of smoke before breaching into the passenger compartment.


Many newer buses have the fuel tank in the rear, just behind the axle and between the framerails. Older buses had it on the right side, usually just behind the door. (Behind the front axle on forward-control models.)
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#4611847 - 12/23/17 06:05 AM Re: Iowa school bus fire kills two [Re: Yah-Tah-Hey]
Jarlaxle Offline


Registered: 02/02/12
Posts: 8163
Loc: New England
Actually...if the bus was a newer (2011+) model, there is another possibility. If the emission system was in regen mode, the exhaust filters get incredibly hot. (Over 1200 degrees-my work truck actually has a warning light for high exhaust temp.) This might have been a perfect storm: engine goes into regen, exhaust system heats up. Driver accidentally backs into a ditch, causing the exhaust to touch some weeds, which catch fire.

As hard as diesel fuel is to ignite, I suspect being sprayed at high pressure from a ruptured fuel line onto a 1200+ degree exhaust filter and/or burning brush might do it.

Also note: many DPF engines actually have a fuel line running to the exhaust system.
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