Bus breaks out in flames after casino trip

April 7, 2008 5:28:00 AM PDT
A weekend trip to a Louisiana casino ended with some frightening moments when a charter bus caught fire. Dozens of people were onboard. Close to forty people were on the charter bus when part of it erupted in flames. The bus was returning to Houston from a trip to the Isle of Capri Casino in Louisiana. At first, the bus driver didn't even know it was on fire.

The bus was returning from Louisiana with dozens of 50- and 60-year-olds on it when witnesses said they saw smoke coming out of the back of the bus. That's when Precinct 8 deputy constables were notified. They caught up with the bus near the Sam Houston Toll Road near Highway 225 and motioned the driver to pull over. This, as black smoke was filling the inside of the bus.

The toll way was shut down for about 45 minutes as firefighters put the flames out on the bus. Passengers jumped out to safety. No one was seriously hurt while they were evacuating the bus.

"Of course you've got your front main door and you can see the side windows," said Sgt. Ray Neal with the Harris County Toll Road Authority. "There was a lady who came out the side windows. She might have panicked a little bit but she wanted to get out. And she did get out."

Another bus took the passengers to a park and ride, where they were able to get rides home. Investigators believe the bus may have overheated. Right now, they don't expect any charges against the bus company or the driver.

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