Nottingham bus fire: Driver 'saves' passengers

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Media captionMany witnesses reported the bus exploding, but NCT said the loud bang was caused by just a tyre exploding

A bus driver has been credited with saving the lives of about 20 passengers when he rushed them off the vehicle moments before it went up in flames.

The bus caught fire on Farnborough Road in the Clifton estate in Nottingham on at 17:36 BST on Friday.

Witnesses described seeing huge flames and hearing a "massive bang".

Nottingham City Transport (NCT) said it was "really proud" of the driver, adding that the cause of the blaze is unknown.

Image caption The fire service was called to Farnborough Road on the Clifton estate

Witnesses reported the bus exploding, but NCT said the bang was caused by a tyre exploding.

Charlotte Betts, who lives next to where the bus caught fire, said: "The bus driver got all his passengers off... he potentially saved all them lives."

She described hearing a "massive bang".

"We ran up the road, just really scared really, to get out the way," she said.

"To be honest I was petrified because all I could think of was if it explodes, I've got my baby, and he's only six was really, really scary."

Image copyright Sarah Thomas
Image caption About 20 passengers escaped from the bus before it was destroyed by the fire

Jamie Tarbert, a security guard from a nearby supermarket, said the passengers had a "lucky escape".

"If anybody had been caught on it or stuck on the bus it would have been very serious," he said.

"Everyone was running around going pretty mad and then it literally set on fire and blew up right on front of everyone.

"Apparently the bus driver got all of them off in time luckily enough."

Image caption The fire melted nearby traffic lights

An NCT spokeswoman said bus fires were "incredibly rare" and the cause would be independently investigated.

"The driver acted quickly and got everybody off as soon as he realised there was any danger," she said.

"We are really proud of what he did. His primary concern is to make sure his passengers are safe, which is what he did."

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