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Neenah students speak out after bus catches fire from flat tire

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Published: May. 30, 2017 at 9:04 PM CDT
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The Oshkosh Fire Department says a flat tire sparked a fire that engulfed a bus carrying Neenah High School students back home from a senior class trip to Great America.

At about 7:53 p.m., firefighters were called to a report of a Kobussen bus fire on I-41. When they arrived on scene, both back tires were on fire.

The driver of the bus was able to get the 39 students and two chaperones to safety. No one was hurt.

Neenah Senior Collin Haese was among those on the bus.

He said, "The smoke just kind of kept going, and coming and the bus driver actually got off the bus and checked and I think he saw some flames so he got everybody off right away. He was really calm, collected. He handled the situation very well."

As crews were towing the bus, the scene turned into a hazardous materials situation as the bus started leaking fuel. A HazMat team contained the leak and transferred the remaining fuel in the bus.

A second bus picked up students and transported them to Neenah High School.

"Our students and two staff members who were on the bus did a truly remarkable job of obviously putting the kids safety first, keeping their heads, getting everyone off the bus and remarkably making sure that everyone was safe. It was after I got over the shock, a pretty proud moment for how our kids and our staff members handled it," said Principal Brian Wunderlich.

Action 2 News reached out to Kobussen, the owner of the bus. Kobussen did not want to speak about the incident on camera, and said the cause remains under investigation.

"I think everyone was just in a state of disbelief just because this is something you see on the news and you never think it's going to happen. It just did to us. I think because everyone got off safely everyone was much more relaxed than if someone got hurt," said Neenah senior Ava Dieck, who was also on the bus.