SEVEN people were hurt – four seriously – after a bus veered off the road and smashed into a cottage.
The driver of the bus was trapped inside his wrecked vehicle and rescuers faced a tricky operation to free him without the building collapsing.
Dozens of firefighters, police and paramedics raced to the scene of the incident in East Lothian yesterday morning which followed a collision between the bus and a car.
The front of the single decker ended up embedded in the cottage – which was unoccupied following ayear-long renovation project which finished a month ago.
As well as the driver, four bus passengers and two people in the car were also hurt in the incident in West Barns, a village on the western outskirts of Dunbar.
The single decker bus, carrying 15 passengers and operated by Eve Coaches, collided in the village’s main street with a Vauxhall Antara just after 10.15.
The impact left the car badly damaged and the bus crashed through the front wall of the cottage, lodging under the roof.
The windscreen and chunks of masonry collapsed in on the 40-year-old driver and emergency crews feared the entire building could fall in.
Steel props were brought in to try to prevent a collapse while firefighters cut the driver free. He suffered head and shoulders injuries that were described by the director of the bus firm as “serious”.
The driver, along with the casualties from the bus and car were ferried to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary by a fleet of ambulances.
The 65-year-old male driver of the Vauxhall and a passenger on the bus were also described as being in a serious condition, although it is not thought that their injuries are life threatening,
One local resident said: ”I heard an almighty bang and came outside to see what was going on.
“The bus had crashed into the house and the car had taken an almighty hit.
“It looks like someone pulled out of the junction, the two have collided, and then it has forced the bus into the house.”
Gary Scougall, director of Eve Coaches Ltd, said: “The car came out one of the side roads at the junction and collided with the coach. The driver then lost control of the coach and he hit a house but there was no where else for him to go.”
Mr Scougall added: “We’ve got four people who are seriously injured and that includes the coach driver.
“The house itself is severely damaged as is the coach.”
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that they had cut the male driver free using hydraulic equipment.
The spokeswoman also stated that their Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team were called to the scene and were assessing the stability of the building.
Police Inspector Andy Amour said: “This has caused significant disruption in the area and we are awaiting further confirmation as to the nature of the injuries sustained by those involved.
“Our enquiries into exactly what happened are continuing and we are keen to speak with other motorists or members of the public who were in Edinburgh Road and witnessed the collision
“Similarly, anyone with any further information relevant to this incident is also asked to contact police immediately.”