Hurricane Rita: 20 Killed in Evacuation Bus Fire

As many as twenty elderly people were killed when their bus caught fire attempting to evacuate for Hurricane Rita.

Up to 20 Dead in Fire Aboard Evacuees’ Bus (AP)

A bus carrying elderly evacuees from Hurricane Rita caught fire early Friday on a gridlocked highway near Dallas, killing as many as 20 people, authorities said. “Deputies were unable to get everyone off the bus,” spokesman Don Peritz said. “We believe it’s going to be closer to 20 fatalities.

The bus, carrying about 45 people, was engulfed with flames, causing a 17-mile backup on Interstate 45, already heavily congested with evacuees from the Gulf Coast. The bus was reduced to a blackened, burned-out shell, surrounded by numerous police cars and ambulances.

There were indications that oxygen used by elderly evacuees could have had a role in the fire, Peritz said. There were a series of explosions, apparently from the oxygen equipment, he said. “The early indications are this is a mechanical issue. The driver did survive the accident,” Peritz said. “It’s my understanding he went back on the bus several times to try to evacuate people.”

Horrific.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Tim Grant says:

    This might be the sneak preview of the tregedy that awaits people, who will not make it out of Rita’s way.

    Leave NOW, if you still in hurricane area.




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  2. buzz says:

    George Bush hates old people.




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