Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

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June 10, 2014

Bus fire backs up traffic on I-57

WATSON — A fire on a tour bus caused a traffic jam on Interstate 57 near Watson Tuesday.

At approximately 11:00 a.m., an emergency call went out in reference to a bus on fire on Interstate 57 southbound near milepost 151 from multiple drivers. Watson, Effingham and Edgewood fire protection districts, along with the Illinois State Police were among the agencies on scene.

Most of the roof of the bus, resting on the southside of the road, had been burned and Watson Fire Chief Matt Kulescza said the vehicle was fully engulfed upon firefighters arrival. He said the occupants of the vehicle, the driver and one passenger, were transporting the vehicle to a different location for further tours when they noticed smoke coming up from the dashboard. They then evacuated the vehicle.

Kulescza said the fires such as the one the occupants noted were likely due to problems in the engine.

"Anytime you get an engine fire it can be any number of things but 90 percent of the time, it's electrical but I wouldn't want to speculate," he said. 

Traffic was backed up along the interstate for about 4 miles as of 11:15 a.m. Kulescza said the interstate was closed for around a half hour before opening one lane of traffic. Firefighters left the scene at noon.

This story will be updated as it develops.

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