Bus fire in western Iowa began in engine compartment

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POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The National Transportation Safety Board says a bus fire in western Iowa began in the engine compartment.

The fire happened around 6:50 a.m. on December 2 near Oakland on a gravel roadway.

The driver, 74-year-old Donnie Hendricks, turned right into a driveway and picked up a 16-year-old student, Megan Klindt his first passenger of the day.

When the driver backed out, the rear wheels crossed with a 3-foot-wide earthen strip, causing the bus to go into a 3-foot ditch.

Although it was still able to touch the ground, the right rear wheels lost traction, causing the bus to become stuck.

When the driver tried to move the bus forward, a fire started in the engine compartment, which then spread into the passenger compartment.

The NTSB says the grass and vegetation caught fire and for unknown reasons, both the passenger and driver didn't leave the bus.

Klindt and Hendricks died in the fire.

Read the original version of this article at www.kcrg.com.