Bus carrying Stanford track team catches fire on I-5 in Seattle

SEATTLE — A bus carrying members of the Stanford track team caught fire on I-5 in Seattle on Friday.

Click here to see photos from the scene.

As the bus approached downtown Seattle on northbound I-5 near the Seneca Street exit at 2:20 p.m., people onboard heard something blow below the bus.

“All of the sudden we heard a pop. It kind of sounded like a gunshot, pulled to the side of the road and noticed smoke billowing, said Stanford sophomore Julia Heymach. “And someone noticed at first, and we were just like didn’t know what to do and after a minute we were like, ‘We need to get off the bus.’”

The bus driver pulled over and everyone on board evacuated.

“Bus driver pulled over and he thought we’d blown a tire and he stepped off the bus and looked and there were flames coming off the side,” said Stanford track coach Chris Miltenberg.  “He stepped back on, asked us all to get off, and we moved pretty quick.”

Traffic was backed up for miles as crews worked to put out the flames.

All 31 people who were on board were safe. A Metro bus picked up the team and took them to an invitational meet at the University of Washington.

Investigators believe that the fire may have been sparked by overheated brakes and a blow out rear tire of the charter bus.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Members of the Stanford University track team were on board a charter bus when it caught fire on I-5 in Seattle. Tonight at 5, how team members managed to escape the flames. Watch on TV or >> kiro.tv/LiveNews

Posted by KIRO 7 News on Friday, January 25, 2019

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