NC middle school students on bus that caught fire

Firefighters generic (Stock photo)

RICHLANDS, N.C. – A group of North Carolina middle school students escaped injury after being on a charter bus that caught fire.

Onslow County school officials told JDNews.com that a bus carrying students home from a music competition caught fire Sunday morning on U.S. Highway 258 near Richlands.

Officials said the band, chorus and orchestra students were from New Bridge Middle School. They were heading home from a competition at Busch Gardens in Virginia.

Authorities said everyone got off the bus before the rear engine caught fire and the flames spread.

Officials said the bus driver pulled over and students were evacuated immediately after it started. The bus eventually became engulfed in flames, according to the school.

No injuries were reported, although several students reported losing a number of their band instruments and other belongings.

Officials said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The charter bus company used is Goldsboro Tours, out of Goldsboro.

School officials said the students earned Grand Champion status at the music competition, although their trophies were lost in the fire.

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