Electric Double-Decker Bus Catches Fire During London’s Morning Rush Hour


An electric double-decker bus caught fire on Thursday in London, the authorities said, causing road closures during the morning rush hour.

The fire broke out on a road in the Wimbledon area of the city. There were no injuries, according to the London Fire Brigade, which is investigating the cause of the fire.

Videos on social media showed part of the bus on fire, with smoke emanating from the vehicle and fire crews closing off nearby roads.

The brigade said it was called to the scene around 7 a.m., and about 15 firefighters from Wimbledon, New Malden and Wandsworth assisted.

Max Pashley, who witnessed the fire, told City A.M., a London publication, that he had “heard a huge bang.”

“We were terrified,” he said.

Tom Cunnington, the head of bus business development at Transport for London, the government body responsible for most of the transportation network in the city, said that the bus was quickly evacuated after the fire began.

“Safety is our top priority, and we are working with the operator, London General, and the bus manufacturer, Switch, to investigate what happened,” Mr. Cunnington said in a statement.

Red double-decker buses have long held a special place in British culture and have remained a symbol of London. In recent years, the iconic red buses have become greener.

Transport for London reports that “more than 1,000 zero-emission buses operate in our fleet — both single and double-deck vehicles, built by various manufacturers in the U.K. and globally.”

These newer electric buses have been equipped with LED screens on both levels, USB charging ports and panoramic roofing on the upper deck.

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