Shocking cell phone footage shows students evacuate burning bus before it explodes

A group of University of Alabama students was traveling back to campus from New Orleans on Sunday when they faced a terrifying scene.

According to the "Today Show," the bus driver ran over an unidentified object on the interstate in Mississippi, which caused the bus to catch fire. Fortunately, everyone on board the bus was able to evacuate quickly and get to safety.

WVTM-TV reports that the two dozen students were members of the university's Sigma Chi fraternity and were returning from a formal dance with their dates.

Students were filming the bus burning on their cell phones and caught the moment the bus suddenly exploded — making a loud popping sound as fire and dark smoke shot out of the side. Students can be heard screaming in surprise, but luckily no one was anywhere near the area.

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Some students were able to rescue their belongings when they evacuated, but others lost thousands of dollars' worth of valuables in the fire.

Chapman Peeples, who gave an interview to WVTM-TV, said that students did not realize what was going on until smoke started the fill the bus and some students had trouble breathing. Peeples said he lost his laptop in the fire.

WVTM-TV reported that the students said that the bus driver gave no emergency instructions during the incident.

"They didn't even tell us what the problem was," one student, Kyle Briggs, told the outlet. "[The bus driver] just vanished."

An investigation is underway to figure out what the driver ran over and what caused the bus to ignite so quickly.