Driver helps students escape burning bus in NC

AP News
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Posted: May 11, 2011 4:21 PM
Driver helps students escape burning bus in NC

A North Carolina bus driver is drawing praise after she guided 39 elementary school students safely off a school bus that caught fire, with flames so hot they melted the windows and the tires.

Edgecombe County schools spokeswoman Diane LeFiles says the fire happened Wednesday morning as the bus was traveling to an elementary school in Battleboro, about 60 miles east of Raleigh.

Students noticed smoke coming from the back of the vehicle. Driver Penny Cooper pulled over and evacuated everyone through the front. She then went back on the bus to make sure all the students were off.

The cause is under investigation.

LeFiles says Cooper deserves major credit for her actions. None of the students was hurt, and a replacement bus made sure they got to school.