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Rita Evacuees' Bus Explodes

By: Barbara Smith
By: Barbara Smith

A bus filled with Hurricane Rita evacuees caught fire early this morning along a gridlocked I-45 near Wilmer.
The bus left a nursing home in the Houston suburb of Bellaire yesterday, and they were headed for facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The sheriff's spokesman says oxygen that was used by the elderly evacuees could have played a role in the fire.
The bus was rocked by a series of explosions after the fire broke out.
Officials say the bus driver made several trips back on board to try to rescue passengers.
It caused a 17-mile backup on the highway that was already clogged with evacuees from the Gulf Coast.
State officials are saying that now northbound traffic is being diverted off of Interstate 45 onto U.S. Highway 287 at Ennis, about 30 miles southeast of Dallas.


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