Tour bus of Michigan students catches fire on U.S. 63

Thursday, July 30, 2009 | 6:27 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A tour bus full of students from the Benton Harbor, Mich. area caught fire Thursday morning after blowing out a tire on U.S. Highway 63 just south of Moberly, according to a news release from the Moberly Police Department.

The 1999 MCI tour bus was headed north on U.S. 63 near Route M when the right rear tire blew out, causing the bus to overheat and catch fire. The driver quickly pulled the bus onto the shoulder and evacuated the 22 students and three adults on board.

A Missouri State Highway Patrol officer notified the police of the incident at about 9:15 a.m. and attempted to put out the fire until his extinguisher was depleted. Moberly Fire Department personnel arrived on the scene and extinguished the fire.

A Moberly Public Schools bus transported the students, who were on a tour of college campuses in Missouri, to Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., the next stop on their tour.

Kevin Palmatory, Moberly Police Department public information officer, said the students had been in Columbia, but he was unsure which campuses they visited.

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