Heater Hose Leaves One in Hospital

by Xavier Walton, xwalton@k2tv.com

Heater hose failure forced evacuations on two 2009 Blue Bird buses Thursday.

It was supposed to be a Fort Laramie field trip, but the kids from Crest Hill Elementary School never made it.

"We were dispatched to a vehicle fire involving a school bus," said Justin Smith, Casper Fire Dept. Public Information Officer.

Within in minutes dispatch called emergency responders. Carriage lane and Wyoming boulevard was like a scene from a movie.
 Forty-six students were evacuated, one was sent to the Wyoming Medical Center.

"Between the pressure and the heat it's not hard to understand what would blow a hose," said Larry Rowlind, Natrona County School District Shop Supervisor.

This bus has 160ft. of heater hose. it starts right here at the engine and from there fluids flow all the way to the front and then back.  But the problem came into play when the pressure proved to be too much causing the hose to burst right here.

An hour after the hose burst there was another close call in Chugwater.  Bus 394 same make and model blew a heater hose.
The bus was taking members of a local high school band to Denver.  Thankfully it was part of a four bus contingent.  The band made it to their show on time.

"Since about 2007 we've had more of these issues," said Rowlind.

Initial investigations have already started.  The district is working with the bus manufacturer - Blue Bird.

"We're covering every section that we can to prevent that from happening again," said Rowlind.

While 95 percent of the districts fleet are from bluebird manufacturing, there are four 2009 Blue Bird make and models-  all four have been pulled.

Reporting on a hot button issue I'm Xavier Walton, K2 News.