In September 2010, a Megabus en route to Chicago burst into flames. History appeared to repeat itself Sunday, when another of the company’s discount travel buses caught fire in a suburb of the Windy City. Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident, but passengers say they lost hundreds of dollars in possessions.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the bus, traveling on Route 41 near Lake Forest, IL, caught fire just after noon on its way to Minneapolis.
Local fire officials say the bus driver and about 40 passengers escaped the burning vehicle before it exploded.
Passengers tell the Sun-Times that when the incident began, the driver immediately told everyone to get off the bus.
“When I heard the first boom I was in the bathroom,” one passenger tells the Sun-Times, noting that he lost all of this luggage. “I came out to a lot of smoke and I couldn’t hardly get off the bus because it was full of black smoke. As I got off to catch my breath and started walking down the highway, the bus blew up again and fire came from everywhere.”
Another traveler tells the Sun-Times he was moving to Minneapolis from Chicago and lost all of his belongings in the fire.
“I lost everything. Me and my brother. My social security card, all my clothes, because I was trying to move, trying to start over,” the man said.
Passengers shared their experience on social media, many vowing never to take a trip with the discount company again.
New York Times travel writer, The Frugal Traveler, was on the bus Sunday afternoon and chronicled the fire and subsequent explosion on Twitter.
Several hours after the fire began, another Megabus arrived at the scene to transport travelers to their destination.
Megabus confirmed the incident on Sunday afternoon telling the Sun-Times that the company’s top priority is the safety of its customers and employees.
Megabus.com is fully cooperating with the authorities with their investigation into the incident,” Sean Hughes, Director of Corporate Affairs for Coach USA North America, said in a statement.
Sunday’s fire is just the latest incident for Megabus. The discount travel company’s buses were involved in several accidents in Indiana last year.
In 2010, one of the company’s double-decker buses hit a railroad overpass, killing four passengers.
Megabus catches fire in Lake Forest; no one hurt [Chicago Sun-Times]