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

    150 years of 'Das Kapital': How relevant is Marx today?

    150 years of 'Das Kapital': How relevant is Marx today?

    The seminal work of the 19th century economist still provides a framework for understanding contemporary capitalism.

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    New information has come to light about thousands of mostly Yemeni children believed to have been abducted in the 1950s.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.