No one was hurt when a Megabus caught fire Sunday afternoon in north suburban Lake Forest, but many passengers lost their belongings.
The bus caught fire about 12:15 p.m. on southbound Route 41 between Route 76 and the Lake Forest Hospital entrance, according to a statement from the Lake Forest fire department.
The bus driver and about 40 passengers exited the bus before firefighters arrived, according to the statement. No one was injured.
“Megabus.com can confirm that one of our vehicles travelling from Chicago, IL heading towards Minneapolis, MN was involved in an incident today near Waukegan, IL,” according to a statement from Sean Hughes, Director of Corporate Affairs for Coach USA North America.
“Safety is our top priority and Megabus.com is fully cooperating with the authorities with their investigation into the incident,” Hughes said.
The bus sustained extensive damage, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to the fire department.
“All my luggage is gone,” one of the passengers, Russicha Watkins, told reporters at the scene.
“When I heard the first boom I was in the bathroom. I came out to a lot of smoke and I couldn’t hardly get off the bus because it was full of black smoke. As I got off to catch my breath and started walking down the highway, the bus blew up again and fire came from everywhere,” Watkins said.
“The bus driver absolutely did a great job because he told us to get off the bus. As everybody was getting off the bus, by the time everybody got off the bus, it blew up some more and he was trying to risk his own life by throwing all our luggage off but couldn’t because the smoke was too dangerous.”
Another passenger, Terry Griffin, told reporters he was moving from Chicago and lost all of his belongings.
“I lost everything. Me and my brother. My social security card, all my clothes, because I was trying to move, trying to start over,” Griffin said.
Route 41 was shut down southbound at Gage Lane from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.