A school bus that broke down on railroad tracks Wednesday afternoon was within 10 feet of being struck by an approaching Metro-North train, but tragedy was averted by emergency evacuation of students on the bus while, moments later, the engineer managed to halt the train before impact,
Police said the school bus broke down crossing the railroad tracks on Broad Street shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday. The driver quickly evacuated about 40 Silvermine Elementary School students from the disabled vehicle as a train was approaching.
"The bus driver stated that when he drove forward, he experienced a mechanical malfunction leaving the bus stranded, straddling the railroad tracks," police Lt. Paul Resnick said.
Moments later, as the railroad crossing arms came down, the train's alert operator managed to stop the train about 10 feet from the bus, police said.
A police investigation "determined that the school bus had stopped appropriately and looked both ways prior to entering the railroad crossing," Resnick added.
Two students suffered minor injuries in the evacuation, police said, and were treated at the scene by Norwalk EMS. They were later transported to Norwalk Hospital for evaluation.
The school bus was operated by First Student Inc., which serves Norwalk public schools.