CMS investigating after second bus catches fire

After a second school bus fire in less than a month, could one in five CMS buses be at risk for catching fire?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Parents are again left with a tough decision after another Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bus burst into flames Tuesday afternoon. 

Now, some are questioning the safety of their child's school bus. 

"It's a horrible thing," said Valerie Fletcher.

Tuesday's bus blaze comes less than a month after another CMS bus burst into flames in east Charlotte.

 "It could be something tragic," said Kevin Omar.

RELATED: CMS bus catches fire in east Charlotte

Thankfully, no kids were on bus 188 when it caught fire and the driver was able to get out before it was too late. 

"First thing we thought was maybe (there was) a kid on there," said Morris Dillinger, who witnessed the fire. "So, I took off running."

RELATED: CMS bus that caught fire passed safety inspection 2 weeks prior

NBC Charlotte discovered the bus that caught fire Tuesday is the same Freightliner FS65 model as the one that caught fire back on October 19. Following that fiery scene in October, the district said it could not determine the cause and re-inspected 250 buses with similar engines. 

"We did have a role in that as far as going into further examination of what faulted to help explain the fire ideology," said David Williams, a senior investigator with the Charlotte Fire Department.

RELATED: Parents demand answers after CMS bus fire

NBC Charlotte did the math. CMS has 1,164 buses in their fleet. Those 250 buses with similar engines that the district re-inspected represent nearly one-fourth of their buses, or 21 percent.

"Safety of the children is more important so I say replace the busses," said Omar.

"In the meantime, they need to find another mode of transportation for the kids to get to school," said Fletcher.

Thomas Built Buses, the company that provides the buses for CMS, released the following statement:

We have no record of recalls on the CAT 3126 engine within the last five years. For further information on the engine and recalls, please contact Caterpillar directly. 

Thomas Built Buses' first and foremost priority is the safety of our passengers. Thomas Built Bus has just received notice of these fires and we are still gathering information to determine root cause. At this time we do not have sufficient details to comment.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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