APOPKA, Fla. – An Orange County school bus caught fire and exploded Tuesday minutes after student were removed from the vehicle, and several News 6 viewers captured the blaze on video.
The bus, which was carrying students from Piedmont Lakes Middle School, caught fire on Cimmaron Ash Way near Wekiva Springs Road in Apopka.
The driver pulled over because the bus was experiencing mechanical issues, and the students were either picked up by a parent or placed onto another bus.
Moments later, the bus exploded.
No one was injured.
Doug Alexander was one of several viewers that sent WKMG-TV cellphone video showing the burning school bus.
"All of a sudden, ka-boom! There was one explosion, and then a few minutes later another explosion," Alexander said.
He said he saw the driver running away from the bus just minutes before it exploded.
"I asked the bus driver, 'Did everybody get out OK?' and he said, 'Yeah," Alexander said. "I said, 'Do you know what happened?' And he said, 'Yeah, it started smoking, we smelled smoke.' I said, 'Do you know where it came from?' He said, 'The air conditioner.'"
Alexander said he was in disbelief.
"Once you see those flames, it's like, 'Oh man, that thing is going to blow up,"' Alexander said.
Sean Rogers said the bus was full of kids, including, his 14-year-old daughter. He went to pick her up and started shooting his own video.
"The kids that were on the bus with her, they got transferred to the other bus before it caught on fire, so she was one of the only few that actually got to see it go up in flames and catch some of the explosions," Rogers said.
Rodgers said he has a message for the driver.
"I would tell him thank you very much for saving all those children's lives," he said.
Detectives said it's still unclear what caused the bus to explode.