Radiator fluid from bus burns, chokes students

A burst radiator hose on a school bus spewed hot anti-freeze, leaving 21 junior high students with burns or breathing problems, officials said Monday.

The bus carrying 50 students overheated on Highway 18 in the San Bernardino Mountains as it headed to Mary Putnam Henck Intermediate School in Lake Arrowhead, said Tracey Martinez, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

"Anti-freeze from the radiator seeped into the passenger area of the bus," she said. A California Highway Patrol website reported that some students suffered burns to their feet.

The accident shortly after 8:40 a.m. left three students with minor burns, while six more complained of difficulty breathing, said Martinez. They were taken to hospitals for treatment, along with 12 other students who complained of breathing problems after another bus took them to school, Martinez said.

The problems appeared to be caused by the fumes from anti-freeze that got onto backpacks, she said. She did not have updated conditions but said all of the injuries appeared to be non-life-threatening.

A call to school Assistant Principal Tad Smith did not immediately return a message seeking comment.


Information from: The Press-Enterprise, http://www.pe.com