Children screamed as Sussex school bus caught fire

The Argus: The school coach on fire on the A29 near the White Ways Café The school coach on fire on the A29 near the White Ways Café

A man has described how he saw a school bus driving down a hill “on fire as children screamed”.

Fifty-five youngsters aged nine and ten escaped from the dramatic blaze on board the double-decker as it travelled along the A29 yesterday (Friday, January 25) .

The children, in Year Five at Storrington First School in Spierbridge Road, were on a school trip when the fire broke out accidentally in the upper rear of the bus.

The pupils, accompanied by three teachers, two first aid teaching assistants and six parent helpers, were heading to Beaulieu Motor Museum in Hampshire.

Three children had to be taken to Worthing Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation as flames engulfed the bus.  they had been discharged.

Adrian Goth, 23, who works in the White Ways Café in Bury Hill, near Arundel, where the bus rolled to a halt, said: “I saw the coach coming down the hill on fire. It was pretty horrendous.

“The children were all screaming and shouting.

“The kids were running towards the café. We gave them hot chocolate and comforted them.

“It was like a film. It was awful.

“There were flames pouring out the coach.”

The children were sent home following the drama at 7.40am.

Headteacher Garry Smart said “I am very grateful for the superb response to the situation by the emergency services and staff.

“The children have been safely returned back to school and have been collected by their families.”

Sergeant Alan Spicer, from Sussex Police, said: “I would like to praise the teachers and children from Storrington First School for the way they conducted themselves during this incident.

“They remained calm throughout and the children listened to the direction of the teachers, who did a fantastic job.”

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Comments (8)

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2:48pm Sat 26 Jan 13

mimseycal says...

Had the children NOT screamed when the bus caught fire ... now that would have been news.

Accidents happen, glad that all turned out well and I hope the kids manage to get to the Beaulieu Motor Museum. Almost as fascinating a place as Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre.
Had the children NOT screamed when the bus caught fire ... now that would have been news. Accidents happen, glad that all turned out well and I hope the kids manage to get to the Beaulieu Motor Museum. Almost as fascinating a place as Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre. mimseycal

5:29pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Algeria Touchshriek says...

Upper rear of the bus??

I am assuming the back seat then on the top deck.

There is very little electrical components there and certainly no fuel pipes running that high.

Were the kids smoking?
Upper rear of the bus?? I am assuming the back seat then on the top deck. There is very little electrical components there and certainly no fuel pipes running that high. Were the kids smoking? Algeria Touchshriek

5:29pm Sat 26 Jan 13

made up says...

The fire broke out accidentally?
Has anyone from The Argus made any journalistic enquiries on this story or have you just copied another police/fire service press feed?
Fire doesn't just accidentally happen, has anyone asked for a comment from the bus company, who was the bus company, was the driver aware and if so why were they still driving down the road with children screaming instead of stopping immediately.
Another story lacking the background basics.
The fire broke out accidentally? Has anyone from The Argus made any journalistic enquiries on this story or have you just copied another police/fire service press feed? Fire doesn't just accidentally happen, has anyone asked for a comment from the bus company, who was the bus company, was the driver aware and if so why were they still driving down the road with children screaming instead of stopping immediately. Another story lacking the background basics. made up

6:14pm Sat 26 Jan 13

wander1er says...

@Algeria Touchshriek
You numpty, Coaches and buses the engine is in the rear so its hot something may have got lodged in there or the insulation broke down and allowed the heat through or it was a simple engine fire and heat rises...
Children smoking on school trip......numpty
@Algeria Touchshriek You numpty, Coaches and buses the engine is in the rear so its hot something may have got lodged in there or the insulation broke down and allowed the heat through or it was a simple engine fire and heat rises... Children smoking on school trip......numpty wander1er

7:00pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Algeria Touchshriek says...

wander1er wrote:
@Algeria Touchshriek
You numpty, Coaches and buses the engine is in the rear so its hot something may have got lodged in there or the insulation broke down and allowed the heat through or it was a simple engine fire and heat rises...
Children smoking on school trip......numpty
It says the "upper rear" you silly little person.

Thanks for telling me where the engine of buses and coaches are. 46 years as an Engineer (11 of which working as a lead charge hand for London General buses) obviously hasn't taught me anything.........

And as for children smoking on a school trip, hang outside any school and you will see lots of children smoking.......silly little person.









PS. PLEASE DO NOT HANG OUTSIDE A SCHOOL. THIS IS PROBABLY ILLEGAL.
[quote][p][bold]wander1er[/bold] wrote: @Algeria Touchshriek You numpty, Coaches and buses the engine is in the rear so its hot something may have got lodged in there or the insulation broke down and allowed the heat through or it was a simple engine fire and heat rises... Children smoking on school trip......numpty[/p][/quote]It says the "upper rear" you silly little person. Thanks for telling me where the engine of buses and coaches are. 46 years as an Engineer (11 of which working as a lead charge hand for London General buses) obviously hasn't taught me anything......... And as for children smoking on a school trip, hang outside any school and you will see lots of children smoking.......silly little person. PS. PLEASE DO NOT HANG OUTSIDE A SCHOOL. THIS IS PROBABLY ILLEGAL. Algeria Touchshriek

9:54pm Sat 26 Jan 13

mimseycal says...

Algeria Touchshriek wrote:
Upper rear of the bus??

I am assuming the back seat then on the top deck.

There is very little electrical components there and certainly no fuel pipes running that high.

Were the kids smoking?
I doubt that 9-10 year olds are likely to be smoking on a bus that was chartered for a school trip. They would be accompanied by adults who would certainly not have left them to settle all alone on the upper deck.
[quote][p][bold]Algeria Touchshriek[/bold] wrote: Upper rear of the bus?? I am assuming the back seat then on the top deck. There is very little electrical components there and certainly no fuel pipes running that high. Were the kids smoking?[/p][/quote]I doubt that 9-10 year olds are likely to be smoking on a bus that was chartered for a school trip. They would be accompanied by adults who would certainly not have left them to settle all alone on the upper deck. mimseycal

11:08am Sun 27 Jan 13

made up says...

Maybe if The Argus had people capable of journalism they could have asked questions such as how many teachers and if children were supervised.
Maybe if The Argus had people capable of journalism they could have asked questions such as how many teachers and if children were supervised. made up

1:49pm Mon 28 Jan 13

mickyc100 says...

I am surprised that they are not naming and shaming the coach company involved here - HERITAGE COACHES!! The public should know that there have been previous fires reported on their double deckers alone along with all the other serious safety issues this company ignore. The children were from an infants school, they were not smoking on the coach and that makes the school look bad when all they did wrong was book with this disgraceful company. I trust that they will now be thoroughly investigated and taken of the road once and for all.
I am surprised that they are not naming and shaming the coach company involved here - HERITAGE COACHES!! The public should know that there have been previous fires reported on their double deckers alone along with all the other serious safety issues this company ignore. The children were from an infants school, they were not smoking on the coach and that makes the school look bad when all they did wrong was book with this disgraceful company. I trust that they will now be thoroughly investigated and taken of the road once and for all. mickyc100

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