Fire engine damaged in crash

By Peter de Graaf

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A Kaitaia fire engine is out of action after colliding with a bus.
A Kaitaia fire engine is out of action after colliding with a bus.

A Kaitaia fire engine is out of action after it was involved in a collision with a bus while heading to a scrub fire in remote North Hokianga.

The accident occurred on West Coast Rd on Friday afternoon as firefighters were heading to a blaze about 3km east of Mitimiti. The flames had spread through scrub and native bush near a house and were threatening a forestry block.

The fire engine was the first in a column of four from the Kaitaia, Ahipara and Broadwood brigades when it rounded a sharp bend on the unsealed road just as the bus was approaching from the opposite direction.

It is understood the fire engine stopped but the bus driver continued, believing there was enough room to get past. There were no passengers on the bus at the time and no one was hurt. The fire engine was able to continue to the blaze.

Fire Service Muriwhenua area manager Allan Kerrisk said the damage to the fire appliance was at the rear on the driver's side.

The drivers exchanged insurance details and the fire appliance had been taken out of service for repairs, which would be carried out as soon as possible.

In the meantime the Kaitaia brigade - one of the busiest in Northland - was using an appliance from the region's "relief fleet".

- Northern Advocate

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