A commuter was hit by a cloud of smoke as he emerged from the underground yesterday when a car exploded outside.

Fire services were called to Harrier Avenue at 6.45pm yesterday (March 31), after a car caught fire and exploded outside Wanstead tube station.

Merethe Rosvold, of Victory Road in Wanstead, said: “I was making my way out of the tube when a cloud of dust and smoke hit me.

“There were several fire trucks in the process of distinguishing the flames coming out of the car.

“I was worried as I didn’t know if anyone was trapped inside or what had happened.”

Nick Jones, of Blake Hall Road, said: "I was coming home from work and walked out of the tube to see the fire, not something you see everyday.

"I think the person in the car escaped the fire and the fire brigade responded really well and had it out and under control really quickly."

Christopher Purcell, of Gardener Close, saw the blaze from his flat.

He said: “I live in a high rise flat opposite and I could see smoke out of my window.

“So I looked out to see a car on fire.

“I saw the whole thing and the bit that worried me was that people were just walking passed when I could see it was about to explode.”

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said the fire was under control just before 7pm.

The A12 was closed in both directions until this morning for resurfacing work to take place.

There have been no reports of any injuries.