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Bus catches fire, no injuries reported

WILLMAR -- No injuries were reported after the Blomkest Fire Deptarment, along with State Patrol and Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Department, responded just after noon Thursday to a fire in back of a passenger bus along the 1500 block of U.S. Highway 71, south of Harry's Corner along the Kandiyohi County and Renville County line.

According to Blomkest Fire Chief Ryan Erickson, the bus was carrying approximately 20 passengers to Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel in Morton when the engine in the rear compartment of the bus started on fire.

The 20 passengers evacuated the bus and were on the scene for about an hour until Peterson Bus Service of New London arrived to pick up passengers and continue on with the trip.

Erickson said nearly all passengers were able to stay warm during that hour due to the kindness of several vans and SUVs which stopped along the highway and allowed passengers to take refuge.

The 1986 MCI bus belonged to Wally Thesing Tours of Fort Ripley. The fire was extinguished, but Erickson says the bus was severely damaged.