One of four chartered buses taking UConn students from campus to Boston caught fire on a ramp to the Massachusetts Turnpike in Sturbridge, Massachusetts on Saturday.
The students were headed to a harbor cruise organized by UConn student organization SUBOG, according to UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz. No passengers were injured and smaller buses arrived to pick up the students who were on the bus that caught fire.
"To all those affected by today’s incidents on the senior trip to Boston, we send our sincerest apologies for any inconveniences that occurred," SUBOG said in a statement. "We are glad to report that no one was hurt and thank the police and fire departments for their assistance. Thank you to all of the seniors for your patience and cooperation."
UConn student Hanna Kirsch said it was a "terrifying experience because you should be able to trust public transportation," but said that she doesn't fault the UConn organization that planned the trip because they couldn't have seen it coming.
"We had waited for this bus company to show up for 45 min outside of our UConn student union and after being on 84 for about 30 min, we all pulled over because a bus was having problems with its brakes," Kirsch said. "We were not updated on the situation whatsoever, it was handled VERY poorly by the bus company, and not to mention lives were put in danger by the negligence of the bus company and the way the drivers handled the situation. I was one of the first people who called 911, and ordered the bus driver to pull further away from a potentially fatal situation. After about 15 min of the bus smoking violently and students fleeing from the scene, the bus combusted and we continued on our way. Later on I saw pictures of the bus burned complete wreckage."
There wasn't a full bus to take everyone to Boston, so 52 students were taken back to campus on the mini buses and will get refunds for the cruise, Reitz said.
Police confirmed that the bus blaze happened on the on-ramp from I-84 onto I-90 eastbound and caused two lanes to close.
Viewer @CorporateGinger shared a photo of crews working to extinguish flames from the bus. She said she was passing by the bus fire around 1:30 p.m.
Police say the scene was cleared around 3:30 p.m.
No one was injured.