Student taken to hospital after antifreeze leak on Cabarrus Co. school bus

Student taken to hospital after antifreeze leak on Cabarrus Co. school bus

CABARRUS COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A middle school student had to be taken to the hospital Friday morning after a heater on a Cabarrus County school bus leak antifreeze.

According to school officials, the 22 students from C.C. Griffin Middle School were on bus #236 Friday morning when antifreeze began leaking from the amidships heater.

The school bus is a 2010 Freightliner 10C model.

The bus had just passed several recent inspections according to Art Whittaker, the Director of Transportation for Cabarrus County Schools.

"Just recently that bus was inspected in April, the 11th, I believe, 2016, by the state inspector, and it was also completed two inspections by our local inspector, one on 8/4, the other one on 9/2," Whittaker told WBTV.

In the incident on Friday morning, school officials say the bus was evacuated, per safety protocols, and emergency responders, transportation officials and a school administrator came out to the scene.

One student was taken to the hospital for observation after reportedly feeling nauseous.

Another bus arrived a short time later and took the rest of the students to school. Parents of the students on board were contacted.

Freightliner owns Thomas Built buses, which came under fire and were subject of an On Your Side investigation in May 2015. A student from Porter Ridge Middle School in Union County suffered third-degree burns on her legs and feet when hot antifreeze leaks into the school bus.

A spokesman for North Carolina Public Schools says while both were Thomas Built buses, but the one in Union County was a rear-engine bus.

Cabarrus County officials say they 36 of the same model of bus, and that it is a common model in school systems across the Carolinas.  All of these buses in the Cabarrus fleet will not get an inspection, with particular attention paid to the heater, according to Matthew Hurlocker, Transportation General Manager for Cabarrus County Schools.

"We're very determined," Hurlocker said. "We want our reliability and safety to be at the best for our students."

It is not clear whether the two leaks have a common cause, according to the spokesman. Officials are unsure of the exact cause of Friday's leak but they have an inspector scheduled to look at the bus on Monday.

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