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Wilkes County Students Burned On School Bus When Heater Malfunctions

10:29 AM, Apr 8, 2013   |    comments
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Wilkesboro, NC -- Monday morning some Triad students' day started on their school bus, but ended with them being taken to a hospital with burns.

According to an emergency responder, the incident happened around 6:15 am on while the bus was on NC Highway 421 near Winkler Mill Rd. A hot liquid was expelled when a heater on the bus malfunctioned burning at least eight students.

The students reportedly had first and second degree burns from the incident. All students were taken to Wilkes Regional Hospital.

Dr. Marty Hemrick, superintendent for Wilkes County Schools, told WFMY that the students were burned on their feet and ankle area. He said all were treated and released, although two students will need further treatment for their burns.

Dr. Hemrick said a chain reaction is what caused the liquid from the heater to spill into the bus. Hemrick said a fan belt in the bus' engine failed, causing the bus to overheat which then caused a piece on the heater to break, spilling hot liquid onto the bus' floor.

The bus was picking up students for Central Wilkes Middle and was near the end of its run when it happened. Dr. Hemrick said about 20 students total were on the bus.

Stay with Digtriad and WFMY News 2 for updates.

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