Tour bus carrying middle school students catches fire on I-70

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pennsylvania–A tour bus carrying middle school students from Kentucky on Interstate 70 caught fire this morning, shutting down the highway for more than an hour.

No injuries were reported.

State police said westbound traffic was backed up for eight miles after the lanes were shut down around 6:30 a.m. between Exit 11 (Taylorstown/Route 221) and Exit 6 (Claysville/Route 231) in Washington County. 

Police said the bus caught fire at Mile Marker 9 in Buffalo Township.

About 70 students from Oldham County Middle School in La Grange, Ky., were on board and made it out safely, Trooper Matthew Jardine said.

The students were taken to a nearby rest stop and are waiting for another bus to pick them up, school spokeswoman Tracy Green said.

She said the students were returning from a school trip in New York City.

The bus was one of three privately owned charter buses the district was using to transport the students as part of the school’s annual trip to Washington, D.C. and New York, Ms. Green said.

Westbound traffic was detoured onto Route 40 at the Chestnut Street exit (Exit 16) while the lanes were shut down.

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