A BLAZE on a bus that closed one of Bournemouth’s busiest routes is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault in the engine.

Five passengers and the driver escaped the fire on the northbound carriageway of the A338 on Wednesday.

But there were major tailbacks along the route throughout the afternoon as a result and the road closed once again during rush-hour to allow the bus to be recovered.

Firefighters from Ferndown, Christchurch and Ringwood attended the blaze at 1.20pm after the double-decker operated by Morebus, formerly Wilts and Dorset, burst into flames.

A spokesman from Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said: “The cause of the fire is currently believed to be an electric fault in the engine.”

The bus was destroyed in the fire, but no injuries have been reported. Passengers were picked up from the roadside by kind-hearted passing motorists.

Ed Wills, operations manager for Morebus, praised the driver for his quick response when he heard a noise coming from the vehicle. He also attempted to tackle the flames himself with a fire extinguisher after helping the passengers to safety. Mr Wills said the bus is currently undergoing a full investigation together with the manufacturer.

No other buses owned by the company have been taken off the road as a result of the ongoing investigation.