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Church bus with 40 kids returning to San Antonio catches fire

Kids were returning from church youth camp

BLANCO COUNTY, Texas – A bus full of kids returning to San Antonio from a four-day church youth camp caught fire Thursday morning in Blanco County.

Fire crews responded to the scene on Highway 281, about six miles north of Johnson City in Blanco County, where four buses carrying 200 kids were all pulled over on the side of the road.

Michelle Delgadillo, a chaperone, said in an interview with KSAT that about 40 kids were on the bus with her when they heard what they thought was a blown tire. They pulled over to inspect the damage and began smelling smoke.

Everyone on the bus got off safely, according to Chrissy Bruggeman, director of marketing for Summit Christian Church. The engine of the bus caught fire and soon the entire vehicle became engulfed. 

Watch video of church bus bursting into flames. Courtesy: Abby Ellison, Michelle Delgadillo

Six children were treated for smoke inhalation, but they are not seriously injured and none were transported to the hospital, Bruggeman said. Two were checked out for "anxiety." The ages of the children range from 12 to 17.

They had been on the road for about 30 minutes.

Watch video of firefighters battling the fire. Courtesy: Billy Biddy

Another bus is en route to pick up the kids, who were headed back to Summit Christian Church, according to Bruggeman.

Some luggage was able to be pulled off the bus before it was fully engulfed. The buses were not owned by the church, but leased from a transportation company, officials with the church said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Stay with KSAT for more details on this developing story.


About the Authors:

Mary Claire Patton

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT including the Austin bombings, the mass shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, the Dallas police ambush and Hurricane Harvey.