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Bus fire woke residents as ‘explosions’ shook their homes in Leyton
People living in a street where a bus burst into flames have described how their homes were shaken by explosions.
Only the driver of the N55 double-decker was on board when disaster struck at just before 6am.
He managed to escape injury after fleeing the bus in Leyton Green Road, Leyton, yesterday.
Jerry Simmons, 53, who called the fire brigade, lives close to fire, which gutted the vehicle and left a black crater in the road.
He said: “It was absolutely engulfed in flames. It shook the house with the explosions.”
Shah Kaushik, 53, who lives in a block of flats in Leyton Green Road, went outside to look because he thought a nearby house was on fire.
He said: "The sky was full of smoke and the fire was so high. We were thinking it was going to set the whole block on fire.
"When I saw it was a bus I thought maybe it was a night bus and there might be passengers inside. Then I was really worried."
Patricia Anglin, 26, who had three children sleeping over with her six-year-old daughter, was worried the bus was "really going to blow" and come through her front window.
She said: "It was right outside my bedroom window. It went up slowly at first but when it hit the engine it went up suddenly and the loud bangs started.
Miss Anglins daughter was awoken by the explosions and was "very scared."
The bus driver is believed to have stopped the bus when he saw smoke coming from the back and tried to put the fire out himself with the on board extinguisher.
But he was unable to stop the blaze, which caused the tyres to explode and the windows to smash.
Glass from the blown-out bus windows is now embedded in the scorched tarmac on the road.
Elizabeth Nicholas, 72, who also lives next to the site of the fire was woken by a loud bang.
She said: “It was really noisy. I was shocked and I thought, ‘What’s that’?
“I looked out the window and it was really on fire. It was really bad.”
Mrs Nicholas said there were three or four more explosions as firefighters tackled the blaze.
Mike Weston, TfL’s Director of Buses, said:" There will be a thorough investigation into this incident."
One fire crew from Leyton fire station attended the scene and put the fire out by 6.30am.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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