Students burned after Durham charter school bus engine overheats
Posted February 9, 2015
Durham, N.C. — Four children suffered burns Monday afternoon after the rear engine of a Durham charter school bus overheated.
A coolant line burst on bus #7803 from The Institute for Development of Young Leaders, spraying hot antifreeze on students, Durham Fire Department spokesman Chris Iannuzzi said. The incident happened at Angier Avenue and Hoover Road as the bus was transporting students home.
All of the injured students suffered burns on their legs, said Christopher Edwards, chairman of the school's board of directors. Edwards said he believes the students suffered second-degree burns.
The students were initially taken to Duke University Hospital. One student was released but the remaining three were later transferred to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Hospitals.
"It is our understanding that most of the injuries were sustained to the lower limbs and none were life-threatening," the school said in a letter to parents.
The West Club Boulevard school, which opened in 2013, serves grades K-5.
"We note that our transportation system has an impeccable record of safe transportation of children, and since this is the very first incident, we consider this an isolated circumstance that we will continue to investigate," the school said.
The bus was contracted, but Edwards would not identify the company.
School officials will have psychologists at the school on Tuesday for students and parents, the letter said. In addition, a forum is being organized to allow parents to discuss the incident and ask questions.
"We lastly ask that you keep the children involved and their parents in your prayers," the letter said. "We certainly wish them a speedy recovery."