School Bus Collision Summary, Canada 1989-1997: Selected case summaries (cont'd)
Seats burned from the top
Fire was a factor in two cases. In one, a school bus hit a passenger car and a fuel fire resulted. The driver opened the front door but, on seeing the fire, had the children leave through the rear emergency exit. Both doors were left open, allowing the flames to enter and travel the length of the bus above the seats. The interior of the bus was engulfed in flame within the six minutes that it took the fire department to respond.
All of the seat backs and part of the cushions burned after being ignited from the top. The quick exit of the children prevented injury.
In the other case, a large tractor-trailer carrying fuel hit a small stationary school bus causing severe damage to the bus and propelling it through a guard rail into a field. A fitting on tanks mounted under the bus broke causing a propane flame to be directed forward on the floor of the bus. Two unconscious children died in the fire.
Visibility was a factor in several incidents.
In one collision, through poor choice of route, a school bus was attempting to cross four lanes of traffic when it was hit on the side by a gravel truck.
It was determined that the bus driver would have had difficulty seeing the approaching truck due to the arrangement of the window frames and mirrors on the right side of the bus. Two other collisions were attributed to right side visibility.
Most of the pedestrian incidents resulted from the bus driver not seeing the children who stopped to pick up a dropped book or who fell.
The combination of a number of children in close proximity to large school buses was a factor in three cases. Two school buses ran over children after being struck by another school bus. In the other case a child ran out from between two school buses and was struck by another bus.
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