Driver leads passengers to safety in bus blaze drama

A bus caught fire near Southwater on Monday (June 26).
A bus caught fire near Southwater on Monday (June 26).

A driver led passengers to safety from a burning bus near Southwater yesterday evening (June 26).

Firefighters were called to the blaze in Mill Straight, at the junction with the roundabout on the A24, at 6.30pm.

Metrobus said the driver ‘immediately pulled over’ after he saw smoke coming from the back of the 40 seater bus and a red light come on the dashboard.

Martin Harris, Metrobus managing director, said: “The driver - who has a decade of experience - immediately pulled over, evacuated the two passengers on the bus and called the emergency services.”

Three crews, from Horsham, Henfield and Partridge Green, attended. They extinguished the flames using three hose reels.

“Fortunately no-one was hurt and the only damage was to the rear of the bus,” Mr Harris said.

“The firewall that separates the engine from the saloon of the bus - where the seats are - did its job and contained the fire so it didn’t enter the interior of the bus.”

Firefighters said an investigation found a diesel tank had burst but they were not sure if this is what caused the blaze. It is being treated as an accident.

Mr Harris said: “Each bus gets a full inspection once a month and gets a daily inspection against a checklist every morning before it goes out. Any defects and the bus will not go on the road.

“This incident is being fully investigated.”

Related stories: Video: firefighters tackle burning bus at Southwater

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