Students on their way to East Ridge Middle School this morning quickly evacuated from a school bus after a coolant leaked inside the bus causing complaints about the odor.

As a precautionary measure, school officials called emergency medical services. Responding to the call were Clermont Fire Department, Lake County EMS and Fire Department and Lake County Sheriff’s Office. School Resource Deputy Tim McKay was already on scene. School officials also called parents.

Of the 37 students on the bus, three were transported to South Lake Hospital. A fourth student was taken to the hospital later with a parent. The bus driver reported no symptoms.

“The quick response and cooperation of Clermont Fire Department, Lake County Schools and Lake County agencies contributed to a successful outcome and a quick resolution,” said Assistant Chief of Operations Bill Harrison of Clermont Fire Department.

The affected bus traveled Route 7303, which makes stops in the Minneola area, including on Jack Pine Street, Fox Trail Avenue and Turkey Farm Road.

The bus was brought to a maintenance facility in Groveland. Once there, Clermont Battalion Chief Daryl Hyatt, as well as Clermont Fire Department’s Squad 9 and Heavy Rescue 1, inspected the bus. They observed that the line running from the driver’s seat area to a heater coil halfway down the back of the bus had ruptured, causing antifreeze (a coolant) to spill onto the floor. The odor traveled through the air ducts. It is not known at this time what caused the rupture.


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