More than two dozen school children had a providential escape on Wednesday when they were rescued promptly by local villagers and passers-by after their bus fell into a canal in Mirzapur, police said.

The bus of Sri Ram International School was ferrying over two dozen children along with a teacher to school when the driver allegedly dozed off and the vehicle fell into the Sukhda minor, an official said.

As the children in the ill-fated bus raised an alarm, some local youths jumped into the canal and rescued them. The driver fled the spot.

School Manager Ramashray Shukla said the bus did not belong to the school but had been hired privately by the children’s parents.

Some of the children who sustained bruises and cuts were admitted to an area medical facility.