Many die as evacuee-bus catches fire

A bus carrying elderly evacuees from Hurricane Rita has caught fire on a gridlocked highway near Dallas, killing as many as 20 people, authorities said.

    The highway was heavily congested with evacuees

    "Deputies were unable to get everyone off the bus," spokesman Don Peritz said. "We believe it's going to be closer to 20 fatalities."

     

    The bus, carrying about 45 people, was engulfed with flames early on Friday, causing a 17-mile (27-km) backup on a Interstate 45, already heavily congested with evacuees from the Gulf Coast.

     

    The bus was reduced to a blackened, burnt-out shell, surrounded by numerous police cars and ambulances.

     

    Oxygen equipment

     

    There were indications that oxygen used by elderly evacuees could have had a role in the fire, Peritz said.

     

    There were a series of explosions, apparently from the oxygen equipment, he said.

     

    "The early indications are this is a mechanical issue. The driver did survive the accident," Peritz said. "It's my understanding he went back on the bus several times to try to evacuate people."

     

    Interstate 45 stretches more than 250 miles (400 km) from Galveston through Houston to Dallas. The site is roughly 17 miles (27 km) southeast of downtown Dallas.

    SOURCE: Unspecified


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Assad to Putin: Thank you for 'saving our country'

    Assad to Putin: Thank you for 'saving our country'

    Russian and Syrian presidents meet to discuss strategy against 'terrorism' and political settlement options.

    Is Saudi Arabia becoming a danger to the region?

    Is Saudi Arabia becoming a danger to the region?

    We talk to US Congressman Ro Khanna about power politics and debate Mohammed bin Salman's new strategy for the Kingdom.

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    With female foeticide still widespread, one woman tells her story of being mutilated for giving birth to her daughters.