A SERVICE bus carrying children from school among its passengers crashed into a Chester-le-Street town centre charity shop last week.

Glass shattered into the bus and on to the pavement when the Go North East double-decker hit the PDSA shop as the vehicle turned off Front Street and on to a side road.

A spokesman for Go North East said the 885 service bus driver had to take action when he turned into High Chare and saw a car coming in the opposite direction.

He said the bus had to mount the pavement and it scraped past the corner of the charity shop, causing the facia of the building to shatter two upstairs windows. The passengers escaped unhurt.

One witness said: "It's amazing no-one was hurt. If anyone had been on the pavement, they would have been a goner, either cut by flying glass, or caught under the wheels of the bus."

Jonathan Howe, who works close to the scene, said: "I just heard the commotion going on and went outside. It was the end of the school day and a lot of the kids from Park View and Cestria schools get on the bus."

Julie Martin, manager of the charity shop, said there had been a volunteer and stock and sales assistant in the building when it was hit at about 3.40pm on Friday.

She said: "Luckily a ridge juts out around the building, which the bus hit. When they got the children from the bus, the window fell out.

"It was lucky the glass didn't fall on top of them. There was nobody hurt at all. Everybody rushed outside to see what it was."

She said only a few repairs were needed to the building and said the damage could have been worse if the building did not have the ridge, which took the force of the collision.

Police were on the scene quickly and traffic was diverted until the damage had been surveyed and it was considered safe to move the bus.

A spokesman for Go North East said: "Basically the bus turned the corner and managed to clip one of the buildings. There was a car coming in the opposite direction.

"There was some glass, but nobody suffered any injuries.

"We will be conducting our own investigations into how it happened and to prevent any future incidents.