Personnel from Indian Joint Fire District responded to Taylor Street at State Route 708 in Russells Point at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday after a Bellefontaine City Schools bus struck and ruptured a gas line attempting a sharp right turn onto Taylor.
A Bellefontaine City Schools bus struck a gas line about 5:30 p.m. Thursday along Taylor Street in Russells Point. Nearby homes were evacuated and traffic was rerouted for a time. No injuries were reported. (EXAMINER PHOTO | RICK PITTS)
A deputy and village police officer quickly shut down the intersection.
Officers of the Russells Point Police Department report the bus, driven by Terrassa Titus, was one of two destined for the Indian Lake Rollarena from Bellefontaine on U.S. Route 33.
The first bus, a witness said, narrowly missed striking the pole marking the gas line, but the second failed to make the turn.
The Bellefontaine Intermediate School students on the bus were headed to the skating rink for a before-Christmas party, Superintendent Beth Harman said. None of the passengers nor the driver reported any injuries.
An exact count of students on the bus was unavailable this morning from the school officials and the police, but police reports stated that the bus was fully loaded.
The students were able to exit the bus and walk to the nearby skating arena to attend their party. Those pupils then rode with other students on the other school bus back to Bellefontaine once the party was over.
“Fortunately, the kids were still able to enjoy their skating party,” said Mrs. Harman, who confirmed that parents of the bus passengers were notified about the incident. The superintendent and Intermediate School Co-Principal Lynda Holycross were at the scene as well.
About 10 homes in a one-block area were evacuated as a result of the gas leak, while gas service was disrupted to an undetermined number of homes in the area. It has since been restored, officials report.
Some responders noted feeling as though their faces were burning from the fumes.
S.R. 708 traffic was rerouted around the scene.
Officers report that the bus driver has not yet been cited, and the investigation into the crash continues.
Personnel from the Washington Township and Waynesfield police departments, the Logan County Sheriff’s Office, Indian Lake EMS and Vectren also assisted at the scene.