A video has shown the moment a school bus exploded in flames, sending schoolchildren scrambling.
The school bus caught fire on a road in Richmond, near Nelson.
"At about 3:30pm, we responded to a bus fire here," a firefighter told Newshub.
"When we arrived the bus was fully involved in fire, we believe there was 27 students on the bus at the time, they all evacuated before we arrived."
One student said the bus started filling with smoke as it was going up a hill.
"So we jumped out of the bus, then just like that she's up in flames," the student says.
The flames started pouring out of the back of the bus.
"It was pretty gnarly, we thought we were gonna die ... It was coming up the back seat, and that," the student says.
"So we just jumped out, and we were gone!"