Dramatic video shows dozens of Chinese rushing out of blazing bus right before it explodes
Desperate riders vainly tried to kick the door open as growing flames consumed the bus on a downtown street in Harbin, Heilongjiang province
More than 50 passengers managed to escape in time after a bus caught fire and exploded on a downtown street in northern China, according to local news reports.
At least three passengers were injured in the terror, confusion and chaos that ensued on Sunday as the passengers sought to make their way out of the blazing vehicle in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, news portal iFeng.com reported on Monday.
Panic-stricken riders had vainly tried to kick the door open as flames spread from the underside of the vehicle to the middle of the passenger compartment.
Liu Dahai, a middle-aged passenger who also was a bus driver, then yanked the door open with his hands.
Two women and a man suffered burns to their hands and hair in the incident, according to the report.
The bus, with more than 50 people aboard, was making a right turn at a crossroads in downtown Harbin when its left rear tyre blew out, according to iFeng.com. A fire then broke out underneath the vehicle.
A video clip published on Youku showed passengers tripping and falling at the door in the mad rush to escape the blaze.
Explosions could be heard as clouds of black smoke rose from the burning bus.
The driver and workers from nearby shops used fire extinguishers to try to put out the fire, but it proved too large to control.
By the time firefighters arrived and were able to put out the fire, it had reduced the bus to a near-skeleton of charred metal. Its rear engine was severely damaged, according to the report.
The fire’s cause and the extent of the damage are under a police investigation.