A bus-load of Beaufort High School students were delayed on their route Monday morning when the 28-year-old school bus they were traveling in broke down.
The driver noticed smoke in the passenger cabin while traveling on St. Helena Island near the intersection of Sea Island Parkway and Polowana Road and evacuated about 25 Beaufort High students, district spokesman Jim Foster said.
The students were picked up by another bus and transported to school on time for class, he said.
The bus sustained some minor smoke and fire damage due to engine problems, but will be repaired and returned to service, Foster said.
South Carolina has the oldest school bus fleet in the country.
In September, the S.C. Department of Education said it operated 132 buses in Beaufort County, including 11 that were older than 20 years.
Seventy five buses — more than half the local fleet — were at least 11 years old.