THIS is the shocking moment a school bus with 50 kids on board suddenly burst into flames, seeing the students scream in horror.
A video has emerged of the panicked children aged as young as nine screaming and shouting to get off the bus as it becomes engulfed by fire.
It’s claimed the driver had no idea the underside of the single-decker bus was flaming until shocked motorists flashed their lights to alert him.
Luckily all the students escaped the bus and made it to safety with the help of members of the public.
The youngsters are said to have run away from the bus out of fear it would explode, while one person used a fire extinguisher to try and put the blaze out.
The bus, operated by Damory Coaches, was taking children home from the Thomas Hardye School and Dorchester Middle School, in Dorset, when the fire broke out.
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It stopped at Charlton Down near Dorchester and the fire service raced to the scene within ten minutes.
Some parents have spoken of their outrage that the bus was still being used amid claims the same vehicle had broken down days earlier and even been seen “smoking”.
Rachael Loco, the parent of a year eight boy who was on the bus, said: “My son was sat at the back of the bus and it was his friend who started shouting that they needed to get off the bus.
“They could see the smoke and once the other kids knew what was happening they all started screaming and shouting.
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“None of them knew how to use the back exit so they had to go out of the front where they could see the smoke and fire.
“They said that drivers behind the bus had been flashing to get it to stop and locals were quick to help, one even ran over with a fire extinguisher.
“My son said that the bus had been smoking a couple of days before when they got to school and the morning of the fire it broke down.
“I just keep thinking what if it had blown up?
“I picked up my neighbour’s children too and they were all traumatised afterwards and really jittery.
“To say that I’m upset would be an understatement, I just keep thinking how different the outcome could have been.”
Another parent, Laura Foot, said: “When I got there loads of the children were in tears and they all looked shocked.
“My daughter now doesn’t want to go back on the bus.
“I want to know what evacuation protocols the drivers and children are taught as my daughter was petrified stuck at the back of the bus, not knowing how to get off.”
Alex Chutter, general manager of Damory Coaches, said: “I can confirm there was a fire on one of our coaches, transporting pupils from Thomas Hardye School and Dorchester Middle School. Nobody on board was injured.
“The safety of our drivers and passengers is our first priority, and we are carrying out an immediate investigation to establish the circumstances behind this incident.
“We arranged a replacement coach to transport those on-board to their onward destination and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
The Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said that two crews were called at 4pm yesterday and the bus had a fire in its engine compartment.
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It was extinguished by crews wearing breathing kits using hose pipes.
The SunOnline has approached both schools for comment.