VIDEO: Double decker bus fire causes traffic chaos on the A338 Spur Road

VIDEO: Double decker bus fire causes traffic chaos on the A338 Spur Road

Picture by Sally Adams

Picture by Emma Hassell

Picture by Derek Lockyer

Picture by Sally Adams

Picture by Sally Adams

Picture by Sally Adams

First published in News
Last updated
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A BLAZE in a double-decker bus caused traffic chaos on one of Dorset's busiest roads this afternoon.

The bus, operated by Morebus, formerly known as Wilts and Dorset, burst into flames on the A338 northbound out of Bournemouth at 1.20pm, and five passengers were led to safety by the driver.

Although one lane of the carriageway opened around an hour later, many motorists travelling towards Ringwood have been facing huge queues trailing back past Cooper Dean.

Despite the severity of the blaze, which gutted the bus, no injuries were reported.

See how the drama unfolded in our live coverage here

Fire investigators believe the cause of the inferno is an electrical fault.

Adam Hall, 27, drove past the burning bus before Dorset Fire and Rescue crews arrived.

He said: “I couldn't see any people on the bus, but I did see what I thought might be the driver and a passenger standing about 20 to 30 feet away from it.

“It was so intense that I could feel the heat from the other side of the road.”

Craig Spriggs, who works at the In-tune MOT Centre in Matchams Lane, next to the scene of the blaze, saw the drama unfold.

He said: “I just saw it all going into flames and the tyre blew up with a big loud bang.

“I think the fire brigade got there before the fire got to the back of the engine.

“There was lots of black smoke, it was drastic-looking. It’s completely crumbled.”

A Dorset Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said three crews from Ferndown, Christchurch and Ringwood dealt with the blaze wearing breathing sets.

A passing ambulance also stopped to ensure there were no casualties.

Allen Westerby, watch manager at Christchurch Fire Station, commanded the scene.

He said: “We were called to a double-decker bus on fire on the northbound carriageway of the A338.

“It’s very badly damaged. There were five passengers on board, plus the driver. They were fine.

“The fire cause is being looked into and it could be an electrical fault, but the bus has been badly damaged and it needs to be recovered before an investigation can be done at the depot.

“We had to make sure that the people were safe.

“The driver did do some first aid fire-fighting with a fire extinguisher, but his priority was the passengers, especially with such a busy road.”

Ed Wills, operations director for Morebus, commended the driver of the bus on the x6 route from Bournemouth to Verwood, who pulled over when he heard a noise coming from the nearside of the vehicle.

He said: “The driver pulled over to investigate and the discovered smoke and fortunately evacuated the passengers before the fire enveloped the double-decker.

“The bus, which is written off, will now be subject to a full investigation in conjunction with the manufacturer. The five customers were safely picked up by helpful passing motorists and the police.”

Staff at Bournemouth Airport were warned of potential disruption to flights as a result of thick plumes of smoke spiralling into the air, but no planes were affected.

Comments (15)

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5:50pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Wesoblind says...

Who shot the video from the van, shoudnt be holding a phone whilst driving?
Who shot the video from the van, shoudnt be holding a phone whilst driving? Wesoblind
  • Score: 16

6:13pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Ralph Horris says...

I always use the Yellows becaue I am terrified the More Buses will burst into flames and now my fears have been realised.
I always use the Yellows becaue I am terrified the More Buses will burst into flames and now my fears have been realised. Ralph Horris
  • Score: -35

6:18pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Avengerboy says...

A justified road closure ..... now get it all flowing quick!!
A justified road closure ..... now get it all flowing quick!! Avengerboy
  • Score: 10

6:36pm Wed 19 Feb 14

justme20092009 says...

oh did the passengers get a refund
oh did the passengers get a refund justme20092009
  • Score: -13

7:01pm Wed 19 Feb 14

alisont1964 says...

well done to the driver for leading his passengers to safety.
well done to the driver for leading his passengers to safety. alisont1964
  • Score: 43

7:18pm Wed 19 Feb 14

pjk1966 says...

Ralph Horris wrote:
I always use the Yellows becaue I am terrified the More Buses will burst into flames and now my fears have been realised.
What a totally pathetic comment....
[quote][p][bold]Ralph Horris[/bold] wrote: I always use the Yellows becaue I am terrified the More Buses will burst into flames and now my fears have been realised.[/p][/quote]What a totally pathetic comment.... pjk1966
  • Score: 20

7:44pm Wed 19 Feb 14

cheeriedriteup says...

I'm glad the Echo has stated that the bus is a right off, I was struggling with this one !
I'm glad the Echo has stated that the bus is a right off, I was struggling with this one ! cheeriedriteup
  • Score: 17

8:06pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Noidear says...

No it's not a right off , there put some benches on the top deck and as a open top. One of there better ones I would have to say.
No it's not a right off , there put some benches on the top deck and as a open top. One of there better ones I would have to say. Noidear
  • Score: 0

11:48pm Wed 19 Feb 14

teri10 says...

Its good to hear the driver & passengers are ok, but I hope the Echo have forwarded the details of the driver shooting the video to the police? They are quick to print about the laws of using a phone whilst driving, then print a video shot by someone whilst doing just that!!! Come on Echo, just because you want the pictures, doesn't mean you should condone someone breaking the law!!!
Its good to hear the driver & passengers are ok, but I hope the Echo have forwarded the details of the driver shooting the video to the police? They are quick to print about the laws of using a phone whilst driving, then print a video shot by someone whilst doing just that!!! Come on Echo, just because you want the pictures, doesn't mean you should condone someone breaking the law!!! teri10
  • Score: 4

8:35am Thu 20 Feb 14

Lord Spring says...

Ralph Horris wrote:
I always use the Yellows becaue I am terrified the More Buses will burst into flames and now my fears have been realised.
Stick to Yellow it suits you
[quote][p][bold]Ralph Horris[/bold] wrote: I always use the Yellows becaue I am terrified the More Buses will burst into flames and now my fears have been realised.[/p][/quote]Stick to Yellow it suits you Lord Spring
  • Score: 3

9:41am Thu 20 Feb 14

thevoiceofreason1 says...

best thing that can happen to buses...the less on the road the better!
best thing that can happen to buses...the less on the road the better! thevoiceofreason1
  • Score: -4

9:52am Thu 20 Feb 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

"Craig Spriggs, who works at the In-tune MOT Centre in Matchams Lane, next to the scene of the blaze, saw the drama unfold.
He said: “I just saw it all going into flames and the tyre blew up with a big loud bang.

--------------------

Do you think it will need some adjustments to get through it's next MOT Craig ?
"Craig Spriggs, who works at the In-tune MOT Centre in Matchams Lane, next to the scene of the blaze, saw the drama unfold. He said: “I just saw it all going into flames and the tyre blew up with a big loud bang. -------------------- Do you think it will need some adjustments to get through it's next MOT Craig ? Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: 2

9:56am Thu 20 Feb 14

BarrHumbug says...

Who's going to break the news to Cliff that his summer holiday is cancelled this year? :-D
Who's going to break the news to Cliff that his summer holiday is cancelled this year? :-D BarrHumbug
  • Score: 1

10:04am Thu 20 Feb 14

Controversial But True says...

X6 eh!

Definitely an 'ex' now!
X6 eh! Definitely an 'ex' now! Controversial But True
  • Score: 2

11:08am Thu 20 Feb 14

Dave2207 says...

Why was the bus made with so much flammable material? Such material would not be allowed in homes, where fire-retardant material is required, by law.
Why was the bus made with so much flammable material? Such material would not be allowed in homes, where fire-retardant material is required, by law. Dave2207
  • Score: -1

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