Fatal Fire on School Bus Started in Engine, Report Says

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POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY, Iowa  --  Preliminary reports on a deadly school bus fire show the flames started in the engine.

Donnie Hendricks, 74, and Megan Klindt, 16, died after the bus they were in caught fire near Oakland in Pottawattamie County.

The National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report shows the fire started in the engine compartment and spread to the passenger area. Investigators say as the bus was backing out of Klindt's driveway, the rear wheels dropped into a three-foot ditch. Hendricks tried to pull it out, but the wheels lost traction.

Investigators still do not know why Klindt and Hendricks didn't--or couldn't--get out of the bus. Officials also found the vehicle had potentially been subject to four recalls, but all of those issues were addressed. A probable cause for the fire has not yet been released.


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