BRISTOL – A garbage truck exploded Friday morning while in the parking lot of Bristol Elementary School, according to media reports.
In a statement posted to Elkhart Community Schools' Facebook page, school officials told parents that there were no injuries to 550 students or staff inside the school and that "All students are safe and classes will proceed as normal." As a precaution, students were eating lunch in their classrooms and the air handlers had been shut down, school officials said.
Around 10 a.m., the garbage truck picked up a load from the school and began compacting the trash around 10 a.m. when the explosion happened in the parking lot, according to Bristol Police, as reported by Elkhart Truth reporting partners at ABC57.
Bristol Police and Bristol Fire responded to the scene. Bristol Fire extinguished the fire.
The explosion blew out the windshield of the truck and caused some heat damage to the outside wall of the school next to the janitor's entrance.
The driver of the truck refused medical assistance at the scene.
The cause of the explosion is being investigated by Bristol Police, Bristol Fire along with the state fire marshal.
The truck was full at the time of the explosion, according to information gathered by ABC57. The hauler had picked up trash from several commercial properties before picking up the school's trash. Authorities suspect whatever caused the explosion was picked up at one of the commercial properties, not the school, police said.
Bristol Chief Deputy Albin said the explosion was felt at the police station.