BUS FIRE: Leopard engine blaze en route to Wokingham

Reading Buses say it is an isolated incident

BUS PASSENGERS are not at risk is the message from Reading Buses after a bus caught fire last night.

It is the second such incident in the past few weeks and saw police close a main road by the Royal Berkshire Hospital to allow firecrews to tackle the blaze.

The incident happened around 8.30pm on Thursday, January 31, just as the snow had started to fall.

The Leopard, a 3B service, was being driven up Craven Road when its rear engine caught fire. It stopped opposite the entrance to the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s maternity ward.

Police closed Craven Road to allow firecrews to work in safety Picture: Phil Creighton

Police closed the road shortly after, positioning patrol cars at the top and bottom of Craven Road.

Nearby Erleigh Road is currently closed to traffic for roadworks.

Passengers were safely evacuated and no one was injured.

The bus was on its way to Bracknell and serves Arborfield, Shinfield and Wokingham.

Last November, a Lion double decker caught fire in Shute End. Again, no one was injured in the blaze.

At the time, Reading Buses said that it was an isolated incident, although there have been several reports of bus fires involving the  ADL Enviro 400 hybrid type of double decker.

Speaking about last night’s incident, a Reading Buses spokesperson said: “We can confirm that one of our single deck gas buses was involved in an incident yesterday evening outside Royal Berkshire Hospital – all customers and the driver were safely evacuated.

“Initial investigations show that this appears to be an isolated incident and has no further implications for our gas bus fleet, nor does it represent a risk to our customers.

“We are conducting a full investigation into how this occurred to ensure that this is not repeated.”

Firecrews put out a fire to a bus engine in Reading on Thursday, January 31 Picture: Phil Creighton

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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