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Hero schoolboy 'saves lives of 59 kids' after alerting bus driver to smoke moments before coach bursts into flames

Mirror logo Mirror 24/05/2017 Sophie Evans
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A hero schoolboy 'saved dozens of his classmates' lives' after alerting their bus driver to smoke moments before the vehicle burst into flames.

Sixty kids were travelling to school on the coach near East Grinstead, West Sussex, this morning when the youngster smelled smoke.

He courageously alerted the driver to the smell, prompting them to stop the vehicle and evacuate all of the Imberhorne School pupils.

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Moments later, the coach burst into flames, causing horrific damage. Remarkably, all of the students, aged 11 to 16, escaped unscathed.

Now, the unidentified student is being praised for potentially saving his classmates' lives during the terrifying incident at around 8:20 a.m.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene after the commercial coach caught fire on Vowels Lane, the Surrey Mirror reports.

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Photos of the burnt-out vehicle show its interior completely destroyed, with vast parts of its exterior also badly damaged.

Incredibly, Martin Brown, headteacher at Imberhorne School, confirmed that none of the 60 students were injured.

However, some of the youngsters - who were heading to school on the morning run - had been left in shock.

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Mr. Brown said: "One of the pupils on the bus smelled something that he thought smelled like smoke while he was sat on the bus and didn't think that was quite right.

"He told the driver who stopped the bus and got all the children of the bus, safely evacuated into a safe space nearby.

"A short time after everyone had got off the bus the fire broke out."

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Mr. Brown described the incident as certainly unpleasant.

He said the children involved in the blaze, who are now at the East Grinstead-based school, will be monitored during the day.

"The emergency services were called and they were able to deal with the fire," he added.

"The children were transferred onto another bus and are now all in school and will be monitored throughout the day.

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"It was obviously not a very nice incident but fortunately not one that led to any concerns for student safety."

Speaking to the Crawley Observer, the headteacher confirmed the children were between the ages of 11 and 16.

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

A spokeswoman for Sussex Fire and Rescue service confirmed that they were called to Vowels Lane this morning and that their crews had dealt with the incident.

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She said: "We were called to Vowels Lane at 8:20 this morning.

"We sent crews from East Grinstead and Haywards Heath and when we arrived we found one commercial coach well-alight.

"We used one firefighter with breathing apparatus, two hose reels and one water shuttle.

"There were 60 children on board the coach but all were accounted for and safe and no injuries were recorded.

"The children were transferred on to school via another coach and we left the scene at 9:29 a.m."

An investigation is under way into the cause of the blaze.

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