Passengers managed to flee a double-decker bus before it burst into flames, causing severe tailbacks, during morning rush hour on a Tuen Mun highway yesterday.
The fire broke out after the driver of the number 260X Kowloon Motor Bus bound for the New Territories heard a 'boom' from the back of the vehicle and pulled over near Siu Lam, in Tuen Mun Road. He evacuated 20 passengers after seeing smoke coming from the back of the bus.
'The double-decker burst into flames after all the passengers had left the vehicle and got on to another bus,' a KMB spokeswoman said.
Nine fire engines and two ambulances were sent to the scene, arriving at 9.53am. The fire was extinguished within 20 minutes, but the bus was a burnt-out wreck.
The 45-year-old driver was treated for shock at Tuen Mun Hospital, but was discharged after treatment.
The Transport Department's chief officer, Rachel Kwan Chui-lan, said traffic was brought to a standstill on the Tuen Mun-bound carriageway, with tailbacks stretching for more than three 3 kilometres. Traffic was redirected and the road reopened shortly before 1pm after the wreckage was towed away.
The 12-metre Dennis Dragon bus bought about 14 years ago is one of 170 KMB buses of the same model. It passed its monthly inspection on September 24. The KMB spokeswoman the cause of the fire would be investigated.