LAKE ISABELLA — A heating system malfunction cause coolant to spray inside of a school bus filled with 50 children Thursday.
According to Nicole Evans, the Maintenance Operation and Transportation coordinator for Kernville School District, a bus was on the way to Kernville to drop students off at school. Fifty students were on-board at the time: three elementary school students and 47 junior high students.
During the drive, Evans says there was a malfunction with the heating system and coolant started spraying inside the bus. Evans says the driver immediately stopped the bus, grabbed the fire extinguisher, and evacuated the students per the district's emergency procedures.
The bus driver called 911 just before 7:30 a.m. KCFD crews responded and evaluated all of the students. Evans says eight of the students were separated out for treatment. The parents of those students arrived on-scene. Seven of the eight students were released into their parents' care.
Evans says one student was taken by ambulance to an area hospital. KCFD says the student was transported by helicopter to a Bakersfield-area hospital for treatment.
Evans says the only junior high students were affected.
Just before 9 a.m., the principal for Wallace Junior High School in Lake Isabella called 911 after more students were reporting irritation and sickness. KCFD says they received reports of more than a dozen students feeling ill.
Evans says the students' feet were irritated as the fluid was on the floor of the bus and likely got in or on their shoes.
Evans says the students were evaluated by the district nurse at the school and re-evaluated by KCFD at the school.
Evans says the school district is happy with how the students and bus driver conducted themselves, following all emergency procedures correctly. She added that the other students even helped keep the younger ones calm during the incident.