Essex bus fire: Nearly 70 passengers evacuated after blaze on A12

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Media captionDanbury double-decker bus blaze tackled by firefighters

Nearly 70 passengers were evacuated from a bus that caught fire causing long delays on a busy road.

Flames were seen towering into the sky and thick black clouds of smoke billowed across the carriageway near Chelmsford, Essex.

The bus was evacuated before the emergency services arrived.

The A12 has been closed southbound between junctions 19 and 18 while the road is cleared and there are long queues in both directions.

Image copyright Scot and Greg Page
Image caption Witnesses saw smoke and flames bursting out of the bus
Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption All 68 passengers were evacuated before the emergency services arrived

Pictures from the scene show significant damage caused to the charred remains of the bus.

Windows were blown out by the fire, which also ripped a hole in the ceiling separating the two levels of the double-decker.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Seats started melting because of the ferocious heat form the fire

Scott and Greg Page, who drove by the fire, said: "We saw thick black smoke in the distance and everyone hit their brakes to slow down. As we got closer we could see that a bus was on fire."

Fire crews were first called at 10:45 BST and the blaze was out within an hour.

Highways England also attended to deal with a large fuel spill on the road.

The cause of the fire has been recorded as accidental.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption The worst of the damage was caused to the back of the bus

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