School bus full of high school students bursts into flames in Irvine

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A school bus filled with high school students caught fire during the drive back from a water polo match Wednesday evening, officials said.

Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Stephen Horner said the bus was going north on the 5 Freeway near Jeffrey Road in Irvine when the driver noticed it was starting to lose power. He said one of the 36 high school students aboard smelled smoke.

That’s when the driver pulled over and asked the students to evacuate, he said.

“They went to the shoulder, and the back end of the bus was heavily covered in smoke and fire,” Horner said.


He said no one was injured.

Fire authorities received the call at 6:33 p.m. The Irvine Police Department and California Highway Patrol also responded to the scene.

It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, but Horner said the vehicle’s check engine light turned on.

The bus was coming back from a match at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo, Horner said. Officials did not know which school the students aboard attend, but Irvine police said it was in the Tustin Unified School District.

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