A bus driver had to be rushed to hospital yesterday after his vehicle burst into flames on a busy north-east road.
Emergency services were called to Aberdeen’s Wellington Road, in Altens, at 12.30pm yesterday after smoke was spotted billowing from the Stagecoach bus.
The coach had no passengers on board and was on its way to receive “mechanical works” when the fire started in the engine compartment.
Stagecoach North Scotland said last night that the incident was being investigated, but could not confirm if the fault which caused the blaze was linked to the required work.
The southbound lane of the busy road was blocked for hours after the blaze, leading to lengthy diversions through the nearby Altens Industrial Estate.
The male driver’s injuries were not believed to be serious. But three fire appliances – two from Aberdeen Central and one from Altens – were called to deal with the incident, which led to the closure of Wellington Road between the Cove and Hareness Road roundabouts.
Speaking at the scene, Andy Buchan, station manager for Aberdeen Central said: “We deployed three vehicles, one from Altens and two from central, to extinguish a well alight bus on a dual carriageway.
“One male was take to hospital with smoke inhalation as a precaution. The bus was out of service at the time and was being transferred for mechanical works.
“At this point in time, we don’t know the cause of the fire. It appears [it began] from the engine compartment area.”
Firefighters left the scene at 2.40pm and the vehicle was later recovered.
Mark Inness, a sales assistant at the Shell Select garage which neighbours the road, added: “There was a boom and tonnes of smoke. My colleague told me to come outside and have a look.
“As I was coming out, I saw nothing but smoke heading towards us.
“The fire brigade was called and arrived two minutes later. The smoke was everywhere and there were trucks trying to drive past it.”
A Stagecoach spokeswoman said: “One of our vehicles suffered a technical problem on Wellington Road at about 12.45pm. The vehicle was not in service and there were no passengers on board.
“The driver was not injured. Safety is our absolute priority and we will investigate the cause of this incident as a matter of priority.”