Passengers flee as Norwich taxi bursts into flames

The taxi on fire in Unthank Road, tweeted by Ben Philips

The taxi on fire in Unthank Road, tweeted by Ben Philips

A quick-thinking driver pulled over his taxi moments before it burst into flames on a city street tonight.

 ABC Taxis driver Scott Squires noticed smoke coming from behind the dashboard of his Mercedes minibus and pulled over, then led his student passengers to a safe distance where they saw the engine catch fire.

He then called fire crews to deal with the blaze on Unthank Road, near the junction with Beechbank, at 7.45pm.

The father-of-four from Heartsease said: “I noticed that there was an electrical fault, but I didn’t tell the passengers.

“I just pulled over and said ‘We need to get out – we’ve got some sort of problem.’

“I told them to get up the road and then dialled 999 when I saw the flames.

“As soon as there was smoke, we evacuated the taxi and I had to get the passengers out safely. After that point it was out of anyone’s control.”

Mr Squires, a taxi driver for 13 years, had been taking a group of students into the city centre at the time of the fire and arranged a second taxi to complete their journey.

The above photograph was posted on Twitter minutes after the fire broke out.

ABC Taxis director Simon Callender said it was only the second car fire the company had experienced in more than 20 years of business.

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