UPDATE: Brake system failure cause of school bus fire in Alcoa

(PHOTO: WBIR / Alcoa Fire Dept.)

Flames engulfed an Alcoa City Schools bus after an "mechanical failure of the brake system," fire investigators have determined.

A report from the Alcoa Fire Department cited overheated brakes as the cause of ignition in the Jan. 9 incident.

All 29 students on board made it off safely before it burst into flames. They included students from Alcoa Elementary, Intermediate, Middle and High School.

Students told our sister affiliate WBIR they heard a loud 'pop' when the bus was driving down Center Street. The driver, who they know as "Bud," pulled over and got the kids off the bus.

Rocky Top Tours LLC, which is based in Maryville, owns the bus.

The bus is inspected annually and was last checked in July of 2016, by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. It passed in all categories.

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