Mercer football bus catches fire in South Carolina

Hailey Christian

One of Mercer’s football buses caught fire outside of a Golden Corral in Columbia, South Carolina, Friday.

The team was headed to Lexington, Virginia, for their game against the Virginia Military Institute.

Joey Carpenter, a student at Mercer and a football team manager, said everyone was inside eating lunch when a customer ran in to tell them that the bus had caught fire.

“A lot of the stuff inside either had smoke damage or was covered in glass,” Carpenter said. “We were originally told that nothing inside would be salvageable. Luckily, they let us go through it, and the majority of it was fine.”

Carpenter said that the staff and team’s possessions that were damaged will be reimbursed. “Our boss went and bought us all new clothes and whatnot,” she said. “As for electronics and everything, that’ll be next week.”

Mercer Sports Information Director Travis Rae told 13WMAZ that no coaches, staff or players were on the bus during the accident, and no one was hurt.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. “All the online articles say they don’t know,” Carpenter said. “We’ve heard a billion different reasons, so I’m not sure which one is correct.”

The team was still able to attend their Saturday game against VMI. The Bears lost 14-41.

The Cluster will publish updates when more information becomes available.