Man charged with arson in Pangnirtung school bus fire

A man from Pangnirtung, Nunavut, is facing arson charges after one of the school’s two buses caught fire near the Alookie elementary school.

James Qiyuaqyuk, 23, is alleged to have set 1 of the community's 2 school buses on fire

Fire damaged the back seats in a school bus parked next to Pangnirtung's elementary school early Monday morning. (Submitted by Lena Metuq )

A man from Pangnirtung, Nunavut, is facing arson charges after a school bus erupted in flames near the Alookie elementary school on Monday.

The school bus caught fire early Monday morning. It was parked next to the school, but fire crews were able to extinguish the flames before the fire spread.  The fire damaged the bus, with several seats being destroyed. RCMP say it can be cleaned and repaired.

According to RCMP, video surveillance captured attempts to set the elementary school on fire. 

A garbage bin was also set on fire near the Attagoyuk high school, but it did not ignite the school, police say. 

According to an RCMP statement released Tuesday, James Qiyuaqyuk, 23, is alleged to have started, or to have tried to start, all the fires. RCMP believe alcohol was a factor.

Qiyuaqyuk has been charged with three counts of arson, as well as three charges of failing to comply with a recognizance order and two counts of failing to follow a probation order.

Qiyauqyk is scheduled to appear in court in Iqaluit on March 20.