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Prison Bus Catches Fire on Eastbound I-580 Near San Leandro

A fire sparked in the bus's engine, forcing the evacuation of 22 inmates and two deputies. Major delays are expected on Eastbound I-580.

A bus carrying prisoners near San Leandro caught fire Friday afternoon, causing major traffic delays on eastbound I-580.

The vehicle fire was reported around 12:47 p.m., according to the CHP traffic log. It was transporting 22 inmates and two deputies when the fire began in the vehicle's rear engine compartment, according to Sgt. J.D. Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

Though the prisoners were not chained to their seats, they were in compartments on the bus. The two deputies released each inmate and safely got them off the bus. They were transfered onto another vehicle shortly after.

"The deputies did such a good job that the inmates actually complimented them," Nelson said. 

When asked what exactly started the fire in the bus engine, Nelson said, "That's something for the mechanics to figure out."

Nelson said for some reason one of the deputies returned to the bus and ended up inhaling some smoke. She was taken to a nearby hospital. 

According to a blog post on the San Francisco Chronicle, Nelson said the bus was transporting the inmates from court in Oakland to the county jail in Dublin when the bus’ engine caught fire.

Fire officials, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office and CHP units responded to the incident.

Traffic delays are expected on eastbound I-580 before 150th Avenue. The vehicle fire and numerous police vehicles at the scene forced authorities to shut down multiple lanes of eastbound I-580. 511 Bay Area reported that all lanes were reopened around 2:45 p.m.

This story will be updated as more information is made available.

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