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On This Day… The Kidnappers Who Captured And Buried A Bus Load Of Children

Written by: George Chittenden : 21 May 2019

It was on this day, 15th July back in 1976 when a school bus driver and 26 children were kidnapped in Chowchilla, California. The three kidnappers then forced the children into a buried box truck in a quarry. Fortunately, the poor kids and their driver were eventually able to dig themselves out after sixteen hours, and they escaped unharmed. The bizarre incident began at around 4 p.m. when three armed men blocked the road and stopped the Dairyland Elementary School bus.

The kidnappers forced their captives into two vans, hid the school bus and then drove around for eleven hours before reaching the quarry. The poor children and their driver were then forced into a removal van that had been buried, with a small amount of food and water and a number of mattresses. Using their initiative, they stacked the mattresses on top of each other, and managed to reach an opening on the roof of the van. The opening had been covered with a metal plate and weighed down with several heavy industrial batteries. After hours and hours, they finally managed to shift the batteries and escape. It didn’t take long to catch the culprits, the quarry owner's son and two accomplices. All three were sentenced to life imprisonment.

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