A bus caught fire on the Bruce Highway near Calliope around 3.30am.
A bus caught fire on the Bruce Highway near Calliope around 3.30am. Contributed

Bystander tells of burning Bruce Hwy bus horror

A MOTORIST who was the first on scene to a bus fire at Calliope early Saturday morning has praised the driver and all their passengers after 16 people escaped the blaze unhurt.

The Greyhound bus was travelling southbound on the Bruce Highway when it caught fire forcing everyone on board to evacuate.

The incident happened around 3.30am, with police still investigating the cause.

Rebecca Dean was also heading south from Gladstone when she saw a "plume of smoke" coming from the highway.

"We saw (the) plume of smoke and initially thought there had been a head on collision, but as we got closer, we could see it was a Greyhound bus and the driver was attempting to extinguish it," she said.

"All the passengers from the bus were standing on the side of the road... (so) we moved them further down from the bus and away just in case it exploded and just watched as the fire got bigger and bigger."

She said she and her partner moved the passengers to a driveway across the road and waited for emergency services to arrive.

A Queensland Ambulance spokesperson confirmed that on arrival the bus was fully engulfed in flames with all 16 passengers having safely evacuated.

No treatment was required however paramedics were on standby at the incident to support Queensland Fire Emergency Services.

It was a harrowing experience for everyone on board as well as motorists who pulled up to help.

Rebecca praised the actions of the driver and said he did "an amazing job."