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Students rescued from school bus stuck in floodwaters in Shaler Township

SHALER TWP., Pa. — Emergency crews rescued dozens of Shaler High School students from a school bus that got stuck in floodwaters in Shaler Township on Wednesday.

The incident occurred around 6:50 a.m. on Seavey Road. The bus became stuck in the rising floodwaters.

“It got worse and worse, it was like a raging river,” witness Linda Reinhardt said. “They described it as a wall of water coming down the hill.”

Reinhardt was on her way to work as a nurse at the VA when she stopped to help. As rescuers arrived, she described the current as dangerously strong.

“The kids opened the back door and they were ready to get out and we had to tell them to stay until the boats got there,” she said.

Update 07:20 am - All students who were on the school bus were evacuated to a safe area. Road Closure: Seavey Rd is closed between Elbe Dr and Soose Rd due to roadway Flooding. Avoid this area.

Posted by Shaler Township Police Department on Wednesday, September 1, 2021

“A lot of people were like screaming and stuff and I thought it was crazy because that’s never happened to me before,” said Jason Vinski.

The high school student said the water was just getting higher and higher.

“I looked out the window and I was thinking I could take a kayak out in it,” he said.

Emergency responders with the Cherry City Volunteer Fire Department mounted a water rescue in order to evacuate all 41 passengers who were then taken to a safe area, police said.

The students were soaking wet, and some left without shoes, but no injuries were reported.

The students were then transported to school on other buses. They were given warm clothes once they arrived at school.

Crews then responded to Millvale, where they performed multiple house rescues as the creek overflowed into Millvale, flooding residences, according to the fire department.

No charges will be filed against driver

Police said there will be no charges issued against the bus driver after the incident.

In an news release, officials said first responders reported students on the bus were calm and attentive when it come to the rescuer’s instructions.

The school district and ABC Transit conducted an internal investigation. The police also conducted their own investigation “because of the nature of this incident.” Officials said the incident “was the result of flash flooding” and it could not have been avoided by the bus driver.

“The bus driver had no time to react to the water rushing onto the road,” the release said.