More than 30 children had to be evacuated after their bus suddenly burst into flames on a busy motorway.
Emergency services were called to the spectacular blaze after the rear of the coach caught alight while travelling southbound on south-east Queensland’s Pacific Motorway M1 near the Gold Coast suburb of Southport at about 10am on Saturday.
A Queensland Ambulance spokeswoman said all 34 children on board were safely evacuated from the bus and were taken to a safe location by another bus service.
She said everyone on the bus was accounted for by 10.10am as firefighters entered the bus to conduct a search.
When fire crews arrived at the emergency the rear of the coach was well engulfed in flames
Thankfully, more than 30 children on board the bus were evacuated without injury while a man in his 50s, believed to be the driver, was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation
A man in his 50s, believed to be the bus driver, suffered suspected smoke inhalation and was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital in a stable condition.
None of the children required medical attention by paramedics.
A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman confirmed two crews were called to the scene, with the first arriving at 10.07am to find the bus ‘well involved in flames’.
The fire was extinguished by 10.24am and firefighters made the scene safe by dampening down any hotspots.
The cause of the blaze is not yet known and Queensland Police remained on scene.
The incident caused major delays on the Pacific Motorway from mid-morning.
One eyewitness, Madeline Pickering, said southbound traffic had banked up beyond Coomera in the aftermath of the accident.