Belfast Telegraph

Bus blaze: 40 children saved from coach after it catches fire

By Ralph Riegel

A coach driver and teachers were hailed as heroes for their prompt evacuation of 40 children from a bus headed to the National Ploughing Championships after it caught fire.

The blaze, in the rear section of the coach, was detected shortly after 7am as the bus, carrying 40 children from various Kenmare schools, was approaching Ballyvourney in west Cork.

A child noticed the smell of smoke from the rear of the vehicle and brought it to the attention of an accompanying teacher.

The driver was informed and the coach was brought to a safe halt.

All passengers, including children and adults, evacuated the coach.

The youngsters were brought to a safe location and kept there under supervision while the emergency services were alerted.

Macroom fire brigade were on the scene within minutes and brought the blaze under control.

However, substantial damage was caused to the coach before the fire was extinguished.

The road was closed for less than an hour while the incident was attended to.

All the children were taken from the scene on a replacement coach an hour later none the worse of the excitement.

Gardai and fire brigade officials paid tribute to the quick-thinking and cool response of the coach driver and the teachers involved.

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