Richmond firefihgter douse the school bus after it caught fire on Paton Rd. Photo: Jessie Johnston.

School bus destroyed by fire

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A school bus has been completely gutted after catching fire on Paton Rd.

school bus fire
All of the students on board were evacuated unharmed. Photo: Jessie Johnston.

Emergency services were notified of the incident at 3.30pm.

Fire Service spokesman Brent Dunn said the bus was “well ablaze” and that all passengers were accounted for, and no injuries reported. Around 27 students had been on the bus when it caught fire, although when fire crew arrived they were gathered at the top of the hill with the bus driver.

Initial fire crews on the scene required further tankers to put the fire out due to limited water in the area, while the location of the bus under power lines saw an isolated power cut.

Breathing apparatus was used to extinguish the fire, eight fire staff taking around 15 minutes to get the blaze under control. With the bus destroyed, their main aim was to stop the spread of fire to vegetation close by.

While it is unclear what caused the fire, a large amount of oil on the road suggests a possible mechanical failure as the bus made its way over the Switch Backs.

Paton Rd was closed from the roundabout where it meets Wensley Rd, to just past the incident site as fire trucks blocked the road.