Fires on Moore Public Schools buses prompt district to look closer at safety | #schoolsaftey

MOORE, Okla. (KFOR) – Moore Public Schools (MPS) has confirmed three buses within the district have caught fire since the beginning of the school year, prompting the district to take a closer look at its fleet.

“Due to recent safety concerns, we have contracted with an outside company to inspect and repair MPS buses and ensure that the safety standards of each bus are met. If any vehicle in our fleet is called into question, it will be immediately removed from use until it passes all safety standards,” said Anna Aguilar, Director of Communications and Community Relations for Moore Public Schools.

MPS went on to say, “the safety of our students and employees during transportation is one of our primary focus points.”

The district confirmed all three buses – Bus No. 30, 50, and 61 – were made by a company called Blue Bird. MPS purchased 10 buses in 2021, which cost nearly $1 million. The buses were 2022 Blue Bird Vision models.

Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalled certain 2017 to 2023 Blue Bird Vision school buses after fire risks due to issues with the gas line.

So far, affected buses were sold and/or registered in 23 states across the country, but Oklahoma was not on the list.

News 4 requested video of all three bus fires but was only sent bus camera video for one. It was on Bus 61. The video showed the bus driver become concerned after he started having mechanical issues.

“61 to shop, I think my brakes just kinda gave out on me,” said the driver.

Shortly after, a student was heard crying out to the driver.

“The bus is on fire,” said the student.

The driver replied, “is it?”

He then radioed the bus shop for help.

“Bus is on fire. 61 to shop bus is on fire,” said the driver. “We’re gonna exit the bus.”

The driver quickly pulled the bus to the side of the road and cleared out students. The video showed smoke coming from the bottom and sides of the bus shortly afterwards.

News 4 asked other districts across the metro if any other schools had experienced fires or recalls to the fleet. Of the districts that responded, Edmond Public Schools said it used 193 Blue Bird buses. The district had a recall but it was not for fire concerns. Oklahoma City Public Schools said it had 190 buses and some were from the manufacturer, Blue Bird. The district had previous recalls but none involved fires. Yukon Public Schools said it had no recalls on its Blue Bird fleet and Putnam City PS did not use that brand of bus.

KFOR reached out to Blue Bird Company to ask if the affected buses in Moore had the same gas line that was part of the recall, giving them days to respond. News 4 was promised answers to our emailed questions but never got a response.

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