SIXTY students cheated death when the school bus they were in caught fire yesterday afternoon.
Leaving their school bags behind, the students jumped out of the Maharaj Buses bus when the fire started from the engine.
In the process, many students suffered minor injuries and also had their school bags burnt in the inferno which destroyed the bus.
The incident happened near the junction to Deuba Village in Navua about 4:30pm when students from a primary and secondary school were heading to their homes.
Police spokesman, Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said the driver saw smoke coming out of the engine and alerted the students.
"The students jumped out of the school bus and they suffered minor injuries, bruises on their body, but most of them lost their school bags in the fire," Insp Sokomuri said.
"Luckily the students jumped out of the bus. If they didn't, then there could have been a major disaster.
"The actions of the bus driver should be acknowledged, as he informed students after seeing the smoke and managed to stop the bus."
He said the National Fire Authority's station in Navua and volunteer firefighters in Deuba attended to the fire.
Insp Sokomuri said the bus was completely destroyed, adding that police had started the investigations.
When contacted last night, a director of Maharaj Buses who identified himself as Arvind declined to comment on the incident.