A man in a Greyhound bus luggage compartment was critically injured in a fire Thursday afternoon on Interstate 95 in Stafford County, Virginia.
A 35-year-old man from Plainfield, New Jersey, apparently stowed away in the luggage compartment in New York, state police said. A lit cigarette is believed to be the cause of the fire.
The bus driver smelled and saw smoke coming into the cabin and pulled over near exit 143. All 28 passengers and the driver got off the bus without injury, state police said.
The suspected stowaway was flown to MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C. with life-threatening injuries, authorities said.
Traffic was backed up for 8 to 10 miles as the southbound lanes of I-95 were intermittently closed during the investigation Thursday afternoon. All lanes reopened after 5 p.m.
The Greyhound bus was traveling from New York to Atlanta with a stop scheduled for Richmond to change drivers.
The passengers were taken via school bus to the nearest Greyhound station, in Fredericksburg, to get another Greyhound bus.
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Greyhound said it is cooperating with state police and planning to do its own investigation.
Stay with News4 and NBC Washington for more on this developing story.