FIVE people were taken to hospital this afternoon after a bus crashed into a house in Sunderland during this afternoon’s rush hour.
The accident - shown in the dramatic picture above from Echo reader Michael Ayers - happened in Merle Terrace, Pallion, just after 5pm.
Police, the fire brigade and the ambulance service were quickly on the scene and several roads in the area were closed off.
A spokesman for the North East Ambulance Service said five people have been taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital, with what are believed to be minor injuries.
Eye witnesses said the bus swerved to avoid a car, and crashed into a house.
A woman in the street, who wished to remain nameless, said: “I was standing at the bus stop when I heard a really loud bang.
“Apparently a car has tried to overtake another car and then collided with the bus.”
A passer-by, who did not want to be named, said: “I was on my way to the Stadium of Light when I saw my friend hopping about.
“He had been on the bus and he had kicked the back window through to get out.
“Apparently some people on the bus were taken away in an ambulance.
“It appears a car went into the bus and then the bus went into the house.”
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “At 5.09pm we received a report of a bus having crashed into a house in Merle Terrace, Sunderland. Officers are currently at the scene.
“Motorists are advised of heavy traffic on European Way, and the roundabout is closed at St Luke’s Terrace and Pallion Retail Park.”
The bus involved is believed to be a No 99 service to Silksworth, run by Go North East.
A spokesperson for the bus comnpany said: “At about 5.05pm this evening, a bus of ours, the service 99 heading towards Silksworth, was in a collision with a car and then it subsequently struck a house.
“There were a number of people on board the 25-seat single-decker bus, who, together with the driver, received treatment from paramedics.”