Eight Pitt County students had to be hospitalized with minor injuries Friday morning after a pipe burst on their school bus releasing steam and coolant.
Dr. Pokie Noland with Pitt County Schools says eight students were sent to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. Some of the students suffered minor burns from steam after the pipe burst. Other students had leg and ankle injuries as they hurried off the bus.
Three of the students transported to the hospital are Farmville Middle students; five are Farmville Central High School students.
Noland says after the pipe burst the bus driver parked in a nearby church and students evacuated. The church was located on US 13 near Davenport Farm Road.
There were about 50 students on the bus when the pipe burst. Students who did not need medical treatment were transported to school by another bus, according to Noland.
When the emergency call came in, the incident was first reported as a bus fire. Noland says officials later learned it was the burst pipe that caused the issues.
Witnesses say several firefighters were surrounding the engine, which is located at the back of the bus, while children stood safely away from the vehicle.
Traffic was tied up as crews shut down the road to move the students to a nearby church parking lot, but traffic is moving again and there is no detour.