Double decker bus on M11 gutted by fire in Essex

Double decker bus fire on M11 Image copyright Gordon Ridgewell
Image caption No passengers were on board the bus at the time, Stagecoach confirmed

A double decker bus has been completely gutted by fire on the M11 in Essex.

The fire service was called at about 10:10 BST to the northbound carriageway between junction 8 (Stansted Airport) and junction 9 (Saffron Walden).

There were no passengers on board the Stagecoach bus and the driver was uninjured, the company confirmed.

The fire spread to the embankment but was put out by 11:15. The carriageway was completely closed but has since reopened, the Highways Agency said.

Image copyright Gordon Ridgewell
Image caption The fire was put out by 11:15 BST

An Essex Fire Service spokesman said when the three crews arrived the double decker bus was "completely alight" and the fire had spread to about 200m (655ft) of the motorway embankment.

Image copyright Irene Nakach
Image caption The flames completely gutted the Stagecoach bus

A spokeswoman for Stagecoach said: "At around 10am today smoke was detected from one of our vehicles on the M11 heading north near to Saffron Walden.

"The bus was out of service at the time and had no passengers on board. The driver was not injured as a result of the incident.

"The fire service attended, however there has been extensive damage caused to the vehicle. Safety is our absolute priority and we will investigate the cause of this incident as a matter of urgency."

Image caption Motorists have been warned of long delays on the northbound carriageway
Image copyright Gordon Ridgewell
Image caption The plume of smoke from the burning bus could be seen for miles

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