A Megabus heading to Minneapolis erupted in flames in Lake Forest, Ill., north of Chicago, on Sunday afternoon.
No injuries were reported, but a University of St. Thomas student who was on the bus said he lost most of his belongings in the fire.
Alexei O'Brien, originally from Chicago, said that shortly after leaving the city he started smelling burned rubber.
The driver stopped the bus on the side of the road several times before calling for a new bus to pick up the passengers. As the bus was headed to meet the new one, O'Brien said he heard a "big pop and a little jolt."
The bus was pulled over again, and this time the driver and the passengers exited. A few minutes later the bus was covered in smoke. Ten minutes later, O'Brien heard another explosion and the whole bus was in flames.
About 12:15 p.m. fire crews responded to the fire and extinguished the flames, according to a statement from the Lake Forest Fire Department. The fire's cause is still under investigation. There was extensive damage to the bus and many of the 40 passengers lost suitcases and other personal belongings.
O'Brien, who was seated toward the back of the bus, said he lost his textbooks, notes and homework for school, among other items.
Once aboard the new bus, O'Brien and fellow passengers started looking into other Megabus accidents.
"This was not the first time this has happened on a Megabus," he said. "It was an endangerment to the customer. … it could have gone a lot worse and thankfully it didn't."
"Safety is our top priority and Megabus.com is fully cooperating with the authorities with their investigation into the incident," said Sean Hughes, director of corporate affairs for the bus line.