Thanks to the sound instincts and quick thinking of their bus driver, dozens of passengers riding a double-decker bus in South East London Saturday morning were were saved before the bus burst into flames, the Daily Mail reports.
Around 8 a.m. on March 17, the driver of the bus traveling through the densely-populated area of Brockley in South East London saw sparks fly. Immediately, he ordered everyone to evacuate the vehicle as quickly as possible, the paper reports.
Moments after the passengers left, the bus burst into flames and then caused an explosion so big it engulfed a neighboring car. It took two fire engines and 10 firefighters about 30 minutes to get the flames under control, according to the London Fire Brigade's report of the incident.
Reverend Sheridan James of nearby St. Catherine's Church told the Daily Mail she was eating breakfast at her vicarage when she heard a bus go by that was 'a bit noisy' and then heard 'a loud bang.'
'Within minutes the bus was consumed in flames with black smoke coming from it," she said. "It looked like a bomb explosion."
Meanwhile, dozens of residents gathered around the site of the explosion on Brockley's Telegraph Hill and captured footage and photographs of the bus, many of which can be seen on Brockley Central, Demotix, and the South East London blogzine Transpontine.
The explosion is the third reported incident over the past two months in which a bus driver has saved the lives of passengers by saving them from impending flames.
On March 15, a bus driver saved the lives of 27 children and four adults who were on their way to a field trip at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedforshire, England. The bus driver smelled smoke, pulled the bus over and ordered everyone to evacuate before the vehicle caught fire, according to the Bedfordshire on Sunday.
On Feb. 9, a North Carolina school bus driver Lindora Richardson saved the lives of six children after clearing them from the bus before it burst into flames.