Women’s volleyball team stranded after bus catches fire on Mass Pike

By Camilo Fonseca, Editor-at-large

Photo: Emerson College
Images posted to the team’s social media showed thick, black smoke billowing from the team bus on Saturday.

The bus carrying Emerson’s women’s volleyball team caught fire on the Massachusetts Turnpike on Saturday morning. No injuries were reported.

The team was traveling to a game at Springfield College when their bus suffered a flat tire and came to a stop on the side of the highway, at around 11 a.m., according to Pat Nicol, the college’s athletic director. The team disembarked the vehicle and watched as their ride began smoking—and eventually, became “engulfed” in flames.

Both westbound lanes of the Mass. Pike in Sturbridge was closed for about 90 minutes, per Massachusetts State Police, as first responders worked to extinguish the blaze. The flames had been extinguished by 12:30 p.m., and the left lane was reopened to westbound travel.

Nicol said the players were in “good spirits,” and were not too shaken up by the experience.

“It’s one of those one of those unfortunate incidents, but we’ll deal with it,” she said. “Everybody’s been great. The students are safe, everybody’s fine”

The team was still stranded as of about 1:45 p.m., as college officials worked to organize a replacement bus for them.

The team’s 1 p.m. game at Springfield—the third NEWMAC matchup of the season for the Lions—was delayed, but not canceled. Nicol said that staff were gauging the players’ willingness to continue with the match, or to reschedule for another date.

“We’re waiting for another bus to pick us up and take us to the game,” said Head Coach Benjamin Read. “We are still planning to play it at this point—but we’ll see what time the bus gets here and how things go.”

This breaking news story will be updated if more information becomes available.