Coach evacuated after engine blaze

National Express coach fire

11.06.2009

A National Express bus travelling on the M1 motorway in Leicestershire had to be evacuated when a small engine fire broke out.

After developing mechanical problems the driver pulled over on the northbound carriageway between junction 21A and 22, but the issue soon escalated and a blaze took hold in the engine.

The driver, Don Edwards, who had received safety training, evacuated all 49 passengers from the bus, which had been making its way from London to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, and everyone escaped uninjured.

Passenger Heather Savage from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, said: "Within a few minutes the bus was (full of) thick, black smoke - and that's a killer, more than the flames.

"It could have been terrible but the driver got everybody calmly off the bus. He was amazing."

A replacement bus was called and after two hours` delay the passengers were able to complete the remainder of their journey.

A spokeswoman for National Express said: "All customers and staff were safely removed from the vehicle.

"Safety is always our number one priority and we are currently investigating the cause of the issue."

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