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Investigation under way into Worcester Warriors bus fire
AN investigation is under way into the cause of the blaze which ripped through the coach carrying the Worcester Warriors to a match.
As previously reported, the squad were travelling to a pre-season friendly at Ospreys in Swansea when smoke was seen billowing from the back of the Astons coaches bus on Saturday (24) morning.
Players said they were ’lucky to be alive’ after fleeing from the fire which damaged some of their personal possession including rugby boots.
Fiona McIntosh, sales and marketing manager of Astons coaches, said an investigation is now underway into the cause of the blaze.
“All we know is that it was mechanically sound and it had passed its MOT last week,” she said. “As far as we’re concerned we didn’t have any problem with the vehicle.
“It was quite out of the blue, it was quite shocking it should happen. We are just as eager to find out what the problem was. It’s a case of waiting to see what they find from the investigation.”
About 30 firefighters from Avon Fire & Rescue and Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service were called to the scene and it took about 40 minutes to put out the flames.
All the players escaped injury after the driver pulled over between Junctions 14 and 15 of the M5 to allow them to get out - with the blaze engulfing it in a matter of seconds.
“We really take off our hats to our driver,” said Mrs McIntosh. “I spoke to him at the weekend. He did everything by the book and handled the situation really well.
“As soon as he knew that something was amiss he went to the hard shoulder, pulled over and got everybody off. All credit to him.
“You don’t know until something like that happens how you are going to handle it. We are very pleased with what he did.
“We would really like to thank the fire brigade. They were absolutely terrific.”
The team went on to play the fixture, after they were picked up by a replacement bus, but ended up losing 23-19.
The cause of the fire is still not known but a spokesman for Avon Fire & Rescue said it was ‘accidental’.
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