Seventeen people escaped relatively unscathed after a bus went off the highway and landed on its side in southern Newfoundland on Friday.

The bus was carrying 15 army cadets aged 12 to 16, and an instructor, to a sports training weekend in the town of Hermitage.

Capt. Doug Keirstead, a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, said the bus hit a patch of ice on the highway just outside the town around 4:30 p.m.

Two of the cadets were able to get out through an emergency exit in the roof while the rest got out through the back door.

Three cadets and the bus driver were taken to hospital, treated for minor injuries and released.

Keirstead said the young people were able to continue with their scheduled activities for the weekend.