‘Bus passengers screamed fire’ as they fled double decker blaze

A restaurant manager described how panicked passengers fled a bus screaming 'fire' after arsonists set a double decker alight on Soho Road. Gaganpreet Singh was serving customers in his shop Pure Veg when he noticed a commotion outside and flames engulfing the vehicle.

He described around 15 people running off the bus shouting and police cordoning off the road[1] as firefighters tackled the flames. The incident, ion which nobody was hurt, is being treated as arson.

Mr Singh, 31, said: "It was shocking - we were all really worried. It was about 7.20pm and I saw people rushing out of the bus. First I saw five or six then about five or 10 people came out.

"Around two or three were screaming 'It's a fire, fire' as they were getting off the bus. I got out of my shop and I saw the fire was at the top deck and back of the bus. It was small initially and got bigger and bigger.

"I heard little bursts with the seats. Everyone was out of the bus and safe, no one was near it.

The moment the bus caught on fire

"We got the shutters half down and my staff called 999 but they already knew. The fire brigade came quickly and they put it out. Half the bus was on fire together with a street light.

"Around 8pm the police closed off Soho Road. At midnight, they were still clearing up the road and the bus but in the morning, it was all clear."

Birmingham Police[3] posted last night: "Soho Road in Birmingham is currently closed between Rookery Road and Alfred Road due to a suspected arson attack on a bus. No-one is believed to be injured. Avoid the area where possible."

The wreckage of the bus following the arson attack on Soho Road

A West Midlands Fire Service[4] spokeswoman told BirminghamLive this morning: "We received the first call at 7.20pm yesterday. Crews from Handsworth attended. It involved a double decker, with the fire on the top deck.

"Two breathing apparatus, two hose reel jets and one main jet were used to put out the fire. It was confirmed as arson - police attended as did fire investigation."

Stay up to date with the very latest from your Birmingham or West Midlands street or neighbourhood with our Birmingham News[5] Email Updates[6]


  1. ^ road (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  2. ^