Frightened passengers were shocked when their bus caught fire in the middle of the town centre.
Commuters travelling through Accrington were evacuated off the M and M Coaches vehicle outside the town hall when flames took hold of the engine.
Around six passengers were travelling on the bus when the engine overheated at around 11.25am, on Monday, April 13, police said. Nobody was injured during the incident.
Grandmother-of-seven Eileen McShane, 64, was travelling on the bus after visiting her doctor.
She said smoke started to appear and passengers were ringing the bell frantically to get the driver to stop.
She said: “There was a girl sat beside me talking to another girl. There was a woman with a baby in a pram and an elderly gentleman.
“We were just going past the Railway pub when the girls started pressing the buzzer. I just thought she had missed her stop but when I turned around I saw the smoke. I said ‘oh my god, it’s on fire’.”
Retired machinist Eileen, from Accrington, claimed the bus driver took some time to bring the vehicle to a halt, finally stopping outside the market hall.
She said: “I had to help the young woman with the pram off the bus myself. I was the last off the bus.
“It was so surreal. People started coming out of the market hall to look.
“I thought the bus was going to explode. The flames were really big then. It was just smoke at first when we were actually on the bus and then we could see the flames when we got off. It was a bit frightening at the time.”
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters from Hyndburn were called to outside Accrington Town Hall on Blackburn Road at around 11am on Monday, April 13.
Crews found the engine compartment of the single decker bus on fire and used hose reels to put the blaze out. A spokesman said all the passengers were safely evacuated off the bus by the driver.
Lancashire Police said officers attended to make the road safe.
M and M Coaches declined to comment when contacted by the Observer about the incident.