A GROUP of Pathfinders almost did not make it to the iThirst Camporee in Toowoomba after a bus overturned in front of their vehicle on the way to the airport.

No Pathfinders were injured, but several passengers on the overturned bus were killed.

It is not immediately clear how many people died.

The Pathfinders were travelling from Kainantu to the city of Lae in Papua New Guinea when the accident occurred, two kilometres from the airport.

Kainantu Pathfinder's club leader Smith Newton, 36, said the bus driver of the overturned vehicle appeared to have road rage.

"We went to overtake the bus because it was going slow and then they came speeding around and cut in front of us," Mr Newton said.

"I think the other bus driver was angry at us for trying to go in front of him.

"Then all of a sudden, it drove into a cattle fence and flipped over three times before landing upside down.

"We saw people being thrown from the windows and there was blood everywhere.

"I am thankful it wasn't our bus.

"Some of us went over to look, but others were too scared.

"Most of us stayed on the bus because we were in shock, but some people went over to see if the other people were okay.

"I stayed on the bus because I didn't want to see any dead bodies," he said.

Vernon Agoname and Smith Newton witnessed a fatal bus crash on their way to the airport in Papua New Guinea to fly out to the iThirst Pathfinder Camporee in Toowoomba.
Vernon Agoname and Smith Newton witnessed a fatal bus crash on their way to the airport in Papua New Guinea to fly out to the iThirst Pathfinder Camporee in Toowoomba. Kevin Farmer

Traveller Vernon Agoname, 14, said he was brave enough to go and see if he could help.

"I went over to the bus with one of my friends," Vernon said.

"I was nervous going over to see the people because I didn't know if anyone was alive.

"I couldn't help anybody. They were hanging out the windows.

"When I went back to our bus, everyone was worried we wouldn't make our flight.

"Luckily, we did," he said.

Event communications coordinator Kent Kingston said it was a relief to hear that none of the group was injured.

"The Kainantu Pathfinders are thanking God that their bus was able to stop in time and not collide with the overturned vehicle," Mr Kingston said.

"Please pray for those injured in the bus crash, for the relatives of those who died," he said.


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