UPDATE: Burning bus explodes into flames near Central Milton Keynes rail station

Passers-by watched in horror as a bus exploded into flames outside of the Milton Keynes Central bus station this afternoon.

The drama happened just after 2pm while the bus, which was pouring with smoke moments before, was stationary in Elder Gate.

mpmc bus fire

mpmc bus fire

It is understood the driver of the bus, owned by Aylesbury-based Redline, pulled over deliberately when he knew something was wrong with the vehicle.

There were no passengers on board and nobody in the vicinity was injured.

It is believed the explosion could have caused damage to the nearby Buzsy building, a former nightclub which is now used by young people and voluntary groups, but two crews from Great Holm managed to stop the blaze from spreading further than the canopy.

“There was a loud bang and then flames and thick smoke. It looked really dramatic,” said one witness.

Bus blaze on Elder Gate, Milton Keynes

Bus blaze on Elder Gate, Milton Keynes

At this stage is believed a mechanical fault was to blame, but investigations are ongoing.

Karen Kodish, who works at the Arts Central and heard the ‘explosion’, said: “It went up in flames and less than five minutes later the bus was gutted.

“There were massive flumes of smoke and then we started to see little flames at the back, then we saw them appear at the side and it started engulfing the back of the bus and there was the explosion.

“People all over the square ran out to see what had happened - it was a serious boom.

“Our windows are triple glazed, so it dulled the noise but we still heard how loud it was and made us react.”

Firefighters dealt with the blaze with hose reels, powder extinguishers and breathing apparatus, while police cordoned off the area for safety causing queues of traffic on Midsummer Boulevard, but the road has now reopened.