HOUSTON More than a dozen children were transported to the hospital Thursday morning after their school bus filled with heavy, black smoke, according to authorities.
About 40 children were aboard the bus, which was headed to Northwest Prep Academy, around 7:45 a.m. when a mechanical problem happened.
When the smoke appeared, the bus driver quickly pulled over near Highway 59 and Will Clayton and evacuated the students off the bus. ICE agents just so happened to be nearby when the incident occurred and were able to help the kids unload safely.
A second bus came minutes later and transported the children to school.
The students were first treated on an Atascocita Mass Casualty evacuation bus. It was determined that 18 of them had slightly elevated carbon monoxide levels and those students were transported to Northeast Memorial Hermann for further observation.
Some students were a shaken up.
It was like this bus was going to explode and why are we even on the bus, one young girl said.
A parent described her fears after receiving notification.
It freaked me out, they had called my mother s cell phone and then my dad was called. And then my dad turned around and called a few minutes later and said that the bus filled up with carbon monoxide and they were at the hospital, the mother said.
The emergency room was temporarily placed on lockdown until the students and parents could be cleared.
All of the students were expected to be physically OK, the school s principal said.