COUNTY NEWS: school children rescued from coach fire

More than 20 students from a Sussex comprehensive school were rescued from a coach fire this morning, according to the school’s head teacher.

The students, from Imberhorne School, in East Grinstead, were travelling to school in Vowels Lane, East Grinstead, when the bus caught fire.

Passengers were taken off the coach, according to police. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

Passengers were taken off the coach, according to police. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

All staff and students were safely evacuated from the bus without suffering injuries, according to headteacher Martin Brown.

He said: “Students smelt smoke and alerted the bus driver who then evacuated the whole bus before the fire broke out.

“There were 20-25 students travelling to school on the morning run between the ages of 11 and 16.

“None of them suffered injuries but some have spoken to me about the shock of seeing the fire break out.”

Passengers were taken off the coach, according to police. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

Passengers were taken off the coach, according to police. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service was called out to the incident at 8:20am.

A spokesman for the service said: “Two pumps (from East Grinstead and Hayward Heath) and a specialist appliance from East Grinstead were mobilised.

“On arrival, one coach was well alight and all pupils were safe and accounted for.

“Four breathing apparatus, two hose reels and one water shuttle was used to extinguish the fire.

Passengers were taken off the coach, according to police. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

Passengers were taken off the coach, according to police. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

“The stop message came in at 9:30am.”

Sussex Police confirmed they were also called to the incident.

A police spokesman said: “We were notified by West Sussex Fire and Rescue of a coach on fire in Vowels Lane, East Grinstead, at 8.20am on Monday (May 22).

“All the passengers had been taken off and no one was hurt.

Passengers were taken off the coach, according to police. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

Passengers were taken off the coach, according to police. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

“We attended to close the lane to other traffic while the fire was dealt with.”

Crawley Luxury Coaches confirmed it was one of their coaches but refused to comment until investigations had finished.