Bus bursts into flames ‘with children inside’ during school run

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Children reportedly had to be rushed out of their bus during the morning school run after the vehicle burst into flames.

Towering plumes of smoke loomed over Hackney, east London, this morning when the bus caught fire on a residential street at about 8:15am.

Firefighters say no one was injured in the incident on Wilton Way by London Fields.

Three primary school children had to be evacuated from the vehicle after it was forced to stop when smoke was detected from the front, a witness said.

Another six vehicles and a small number of homes nearby were left charred.

According to photos, the bus appeared to be operated by Hackney Community Transport which provides transit for schoolchildren and people with disabilities.

Witness Lucia Martin, 47, who lives nearby, said she heard ‘screaming and a bang’ before the fire erupted out of the bus.

The administrator said: ‘A lady had seen there were flames underneath the front part of the school bus as it was driving down the road.

‘The driver had seen the smoke and quickly got the three kids and carers out, and they all rushed into my neighbour’s house.

‘There was a lady screaming and shouting, then a few minutes later I heard screaming and a bang.

‘Because there were three cars quite near to the minibus, they had also caught fire – the widows were cracked from the impact of the explosion.

‘I’m just glad everyone was okay, it was a kind of scary experience – the fire brigade put the fire out and they stayed until it was safe and there was no smoke.

‘I was just shocked more than anything, it was really scary and literally 20 feet from my door.’

The cause of the fire is not yet known, but council and fire officials said they are working to investigate the incident.

Hackney Council said: ‘This morning a fire broke out on a school bus in Hackney.

‘The cause of the fire is yet to be determined. All the children were evacuated with no injuries and a replacement bus was organised to deliver them to school.’

The London Fire Brigade said: ‘Firefighters tackled a bus fire on Wilton Way in Hackney this morning (January 20).

‘A 30-seater bus was damaged by fire. Six other vehicles and a small part of several surrounding properties were also damaged by the blaze. 

‘All passengers had left the vehicle before the Brigade arrived. There have been no reports of injuries.

‘The Brigade’s 999 Control Officers took 42 calls about the blaze. The Brigade was called at 0813 and the fire was under control by 0920. Firefighters from Bethnal Green Fire Station attended the scene.’

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