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Charter Bus Returning From March On Washington Catches Fire

11:51 AM, Aug 26, 2013   |    comments
Charter Bus Catches Fire (Photo: Detroit Free Press)
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Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press

Detroit-- More than 40 passengers escaped safely after a chartered bus caught fire as it was returning to Detroit from the nation's capital for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, authorities said.

It was the second incident in two days involving a chartered bus with the same group from Detroit. Eight people were injured Saturday when a different bus was involved in a collision in Washington.

In Sunday morning's incident, a bus with Wilmac Tours heading back to Michigan caught fire on Interstate 76 in northeastern Ohio, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. At 9:05 a.m. ET, a right rear brake caught fire, forcing the driver to pull over.

All 45 passengers evacuated without injury though the bus was destroyed and passengers lost their belongings. The highway was partially closed for about three hours.

Wilmac Tours could not be reached for comment Sunday. Based in Detroit, the company says on its website it has provided bus services for trips for 28 years.

Saturday's collision involved a bus traveling from Detroit for the civil rights march. The injuries were not life threatening, according to The Associated Press. The bus was with the Detroit chapter of the National Action Network, the civil rights group headed by the Rev. Al Sharpton, according to a report on WWJ-AM.

The head of the Detroit chapter of the network, the Rev. Charles Williams II, could not be reached for comment Sunday. Several buses from Detroit carried passengers for the anniversary of the historic march at which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

On Wednesday, the same date as the 1963 march, President Obama will speak at the Lincoln Memorial joined by former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. The event will be smaller than Saturday's.

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