Pandemonium as bus conveying school children catches fire




A 30-seater bus with children inside caught fire in east London on Friday morning, with six other vehicles damaged in the blaze.

Councillor Caroline Woodley, Cabinet Member for Families, Parks and Leisure, said that children and their families on the bus, for pupils with special educational needs, were being offered support.

“The safety of all those involved is our priority and we are offering support to the children and their families, passenger assistants and the driver,” she said. “We will also reach out to anybody in the wider community who may have been impacted by the incident.”

The bus was carrying three primary school children and was forced to stop after smoke was detected from the front of the vehicle. It was quickly evacuated with no injuries.

“The mum of one of the children took all those involved into her home where they were shielded from the sight of the blaze,” Cllr Woodley said.

“I want to thank the mother and the Council staff whose swift actions today ensured the safety and wellbeing of the children.

“My thanks also goes to the London Fire Service who arrived quickly on the scene to extinguish the fire. The remains of the bus were removed by around 10.30 this morning.

Firefighters tackled this bus fire in Wilton Way in #Hackney this morning. Six other vehicles were also damaged. Our 999 Control Officers took 42 calls. Thankfully, there have been no reports of injuries.

“We are hugely relieved that nobody was harmed in this incident but we are obviously very concerned by what has happened.”

She said that an investigation was being launched by the council and fire brigade to establish the cause of the fire.

Comprehensive safety inspections would also be carried out on the bus fleet.

Firefighters from Bethnal Green Fire Station tackled the flames on Wilton Way, Hackney at 8.13 am, with 999 receiving 42 calls over the incident, said to have taken place on a London Borough of Hackney Community Transport bus.

“Thankfully, there have been no reports of injuries,” the London Fire Brigade said in a statement on social media.

Hackney council said in a statement: “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.”

Residents said the road had been closed as firefighters fought to control the smoke. Footage of the incident showed a large plume of smoke rising above the houses.

The London Fire Brigade said a “small part of several surrounding properties were also damaged by the blaze”, adding: “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 and the incident was under control by 9.20 am.

Hackney council said in a statement: “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 Telegraph

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