Watch: Dramatic footage as double decker bus catches fire

An investigation has begun after a double decker bus on its way to Londonderry from Belfast caught fire on Monday evening.

The bus went on fire whilst travelling on the M22 just after 5.30, about 40 minutes after it began its journey.

The Ulsterbus in flames on the M22

The Ulsterbus in flames on the M22

A Translink spokeswoman said the driver got all the passengers out of the vehicle and called firefighters.

“The driver of the 5pm bus service from Belfast to Derry-Londonderry became aware of smoke coming from the vehicle while travelling on the M22,” she said.

“She responded immediately. Parking the bus on the hard shoulder and ensured all passengers got off safely. The fire service and PSNI were alerted and quickly attended the scene to deal with the incident.

“Passengers were quickly transferred onto another bus to complete their journey.

The view after passengers got off bus which went on fire on M22 on Monday evening

The view after passengers got off bus which went on fire on M22 on Monday evening

“An investigation is currently underway”.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said the bus was well alight when firefighters reached the scene.

They said two Fire Appliances from Antrim Fire Station and one Fire Appliance from Ballymena Fire Station were deployed to the scene.

“One female, believed to be the driver of the bus was treated at the scene by Firefighters for her injuries that are not thought to be serious,” the statement added.

“The incident finished at 6:32pm and early indications would suggest the fire started accidentally.”

Londonderry man Andrew Page, 31, who was travelling on the bus said as they were heading towards Randalstown “a car overtook the bus and got the bus drivers attention”.

“He said there was smoke coming from the back of the bus, so we immediately pulled in and evacuated the bus,” he said.

“The next bus coming along, one that was going to Magherafelt, pulled in beside us and after a couple of minutes were put onto the other bus and left at the Castledawson roundabout. Before we left the police and Fire Service had arrived.”

Mr Page, a Quality Consultant, said he “did not notice a burning smell on the bus although others said they had”.

He said he was “waiting at the Castledawson round about for about an hour”.