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Why did a bus with 16 students on board catch fire in Charlotte? Experts are puzzled.

Officials haven’t been able to determine what led to a bus catching on fire in October with 16 students on board.
Officials haven’t been able to determine what led to a bus catching on fire in October with 16 students on board. WBTV

Mystery still surrounds what led to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bus catching fire in late October, after school officials announced Thursday that they were unable to determine a cause.

The engine on bus No. 364 ignited on Oct. 19 while the bus was traveling with 16 students on board near the intersection of Eastway Drive and Central Avenue in east Charlotte.

The students and the driver safely evacuated the bus, and one person was treated for minor injuries because of smoke inhalation. The front of the bus was heavily damaged, and CMS reached out to experts from the state and Charlotte Fire Department to determine a cause of the fire.

CMS announced Thursday the investigation concluded with “no clear indication” of what caused the bus’ engine to ignite.

As a precautionary measure, CMS is inspecting 250 buses that have similar engines, the district announced. The inspections will examine the wiring of the buses to see if there’s a sign of failure. The inspections have already started, CMS said, but nothing concerning has been found so far.

LaVendrick Smith; 704-358-5101; @LaVendrickS

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