A terrifying scene unwrapped in Kingston, London this morning as a bus driver was taken to the hospital after a double-decker bus burst into flames.
The 371 bus began rapidly filling with smoke as it continued along its regular daily route, bursting to flames within a few minutes of the driver’s awareness of the initial ignition.
Although there were no reported casualties from the incident, the driver had to be treated for smoke inhalation on the spot prior to being escorted to the nearest hospital, reported the London Fire Brigade.
They also took precautions and evacuated nearby businesses and residential buildings in anticipation of the event of a possible explosion. As a typical double-decker contains 350L of fuel, such cautionary measures are routine and necessary.
A Scary Scene in Central London
Locals witnessing the incident have flooded social media with videos and pictures showing the extent of the damage done by the fire. Large black trails of smoke rose above the roaring fire that almost entirely engulfed the rearmost section of the bus.
An officer stationed at a nearby police department describes the horrific scene as he saw “smoke coming out of it while there were people still on board.”
One eyewitness at the scene, Marin Delaney, described what he saw in detail: “The road was taped off, there were acrid burning smells, local shops’ fire alarms or smoke detectors had been triggered – it was quite a mess”.
Another bystander, Rich Carpenter, reported the speed at which it occurred: “The bus was smoking when I went into a shop and was on fire when I came back out.”
Despite the almost instantaneous eruption, firefighters had control of the situation within the hour. As the cause of this near fatal occurrence is yet to be determined, Tony Akers, TfL’s Head of Bus Operations, announced that “there will be a full investigation into the incident.”