Bus fire

Members of a Texas church youth group say they all escaped from a bus just before it exploded into flames last night.

The chartered bus was one of two that were carrying 188 people from Austin's Hyde Park Baptist Church on a mission trip to New Orleans.

Witnesses say a back tire blew, sparks flew, and within a minute or so the entire bus was ablaze, shooting flames and debris 20 feet into the air.

Interstate 10 near Vinton, Louisiana, was closed for about an hour. Vinton's assistant fire chief said the teen-agers and adults did a great job of getting away from the burning bus.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)