EMERGENCY services vehicles raced to the scene after a coach carrying schoolchildren collided with a passenger bus.

The collision took place yesterday afternoon on the A352 a mile south of Cerne Abbas.

No one was seriously injured in the smash but one elderly man was taken to hospital for treatment.

Police closed the road in both directions between the Sydling Road junction in Cerne Abbas and the Herrison Road junction in Charminster.

Passengers and schoolchildren were led to safety while recovery work took place.

A spokesman for South Western Ambulance said three crews were sent to the scene at Nether Cerne following a call at 4.37pm.

He said: “There does not appear to be any serious injuries.”

A spokesman for Dorset County Council said: “We can confirm that there has been a collision between a school bus and a public transport bus, which are both operated by Damory Coaches.

“One person suffered minor injuries in the collision. Replacement buses were sent out to take the schoolchildren and the three passengers on the public transport bus to their destinations.

“Investigations will now take place to find out the cause of the crash.”

The school bus was travelling towards Cerne Abbas and was believed to be carrying children from Dorchester schools when it collided with the bus travelling in the opposite direction.

Dave Grant, of Damory Coaches, said: “A school bus carrying children collided with a passenger bus on the bend where there was a lot of mud.

“The buses smashed into each other and luckily no one was seriously hurt.

“The mud on the bend caused the crash, it was really slippery.”

A Damory bus driver, who did not want to be named, stopped at the scene to help those involved.

He said: “I was driving behind the school bus when the crash happened.

“I just stayed around to help get the passengers to safety.

“I think one of the children suffered a small injury but luckily everyone else was okay.”

Badar Afzal was travelling on the bus to Dorchester when the collision took place.

He said: “I was sitting on the bus when the crash occurred between the coach and the bus at approximately 4.20pm.

“There were three passengers on the bus, myself and two gentlemen.

The coach contained young school pupils, who were visibly very shaken up by the experience.

“The brunt of the crash was on the front of the bus and the coach, however fortunately no one was seriously injured.

“The police and ambulance service arrived swiftly to the scene, and transport was arranged for the passengers to take us to our destination.”

This latest crash comes after a First Bus carrying students bound for Kingston Maurward College crashed on Monday.

The 13-tonne double-decker bus came off the road near Lytchett Minister, and landed on its side at the bottom of an eight-foot embankment.

Of the 56 students on the bus, seven and the driver were taken to hospital and a further 22 students were injured, however no-one was seriously injured.

Students climbed over broken glass and smashed seats to escape through the rear windows of the bus.

The crash took place on the A350 as the bus was travelling northward.

The fully trained driver had been being tutored on the route when the accident occured, he was being monitored by another experienced driver.

First Bus said that the incident would be 'thoroughly investigated.'

One person suffered injury

A SPOKESMAN for Dorset Police said: “Dorset Police received a call at just after 4.30pm reporting a two vehicle collision involving two coaches a mile south of Cerne Abbas in Dorchester.

“One coach has approximately seven school children on board of unknown ages.

“The second coach has six passengers on board.

“Only one person was injured – a male suffering a very minor nose injury.

“All persons are off both of the buses and at a place of safety.”