NC Transportation, CFD join investigation after CMS bus catches fire

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) District has released the inspection report of the last time Bus 364 was checked before it burst into flames Thursday evening.

Sixteen students from South Mecklenburg High School and the bus driver were on board when the accident happened. No one was hurt.

The date of the inspection of Bus 364 was October 6, and everything checked out. According to school mechanics, there was no indication the bus was unsafe to travel. The report did show some issues ranging from a faulty AC to the top left door hinge broken.

Document: Click here to read the full inspection

North Carolina State Transportation leaders are now helping in the investigation. They will come to the district Monday to examine the bus and inform other school districts if there is a problem.

"We take an incident like this seriously," NC DPI Transportation Section Chief Kevin Harrison said. "And if we can determine a probable cause, we'll make all LEA's ( Local Education Agency) aware of the potential issue."

School buses are inspected every 30 days to make sure safety remains a top priority.

"It's a very important part of keeping those vehicles safe," Harrison said. "And thankfully these incidents are rare."

CMS released this statement Friday about its plans moving forward:

As with any incident related to the safety and welfare of CMS students and staff, Thursday's fire on board school bus #364 is of major concern for the district. We are grateful that the bus driver and the 16 students on board responded quickly, were unharmed, and returned to their homes and families safely.

Harrison says if issues are found in CMS' transportation department, the state will speak up.

"We take a very strong stance," Harrison said. "And school bus safety should be the safest mode of transportation. We're going to tell them everything that we see that could lead to any problems."

There is no word how long the inspection will take.

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