A QUICK-THINKING bus driver helped avert a disaster when his vehicle caught fire.

The 800 Arriva service was going through Binfield Heath, near Henley on Thursday when it burst into flames.

Noticing thick black smoke coming from the engine, the driver stopped the bus, potentially saving lives. 

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The incident happened on Shiplake Row at around 5pm and no one was hurt.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service shared a photo of the aftermath.

A spokesperson said: "The bus was completely destroyed and the fire also spread to surrounding bushes and wooden structures."

The fire also affected overhead electricity cables.

Passenger Grace Evans, from Reading, who had been travelling on the bus with her baby told the BBC: "I felt very, very shook. We were at a safe distance from the shrapnel but... just to think I was on that bus 10-20 minutes ago and now it's just a fireball."

She suggested 30 lives had been saved by the driver's quick thinking. 

Oxford Mail: All that's left after bus fire at Binfield Heath near Henley-on-Thames, OxfordshireAll that's left after bus fire at Binfield Heath near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Arriva commended the bus driver's "courageous actions".

It added: "He even took the time to address the fire with a fire extinguisher, which we are told significantly helped to slow down the fire impact of escalating.

"We commend him for his bravery and fast reactions in this challenging situation."

Read more from this author

This story was written by Shosha Adie

She joined the team in 2022 as a digital reporter.   

To get in touch with her email: Shosha.Adie@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter: @ShoshaAdie

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