A BUS was badly damaged after it went on fire on a main road towards Wrexham.
The vehicle stopped on the A539 to pick up a passenger by some farmhouses just outside Penley yesterday morning.
Residents then noticed the 146 Whitchurch to Wrexham bus operated by GHA Coaches begin to struggle before it became engulfed by fire and smoke.
Farmer Paul Goulding, who lives just yards from where the blaze took place, said: “The bus pulled up and there looked to be a problem, smoke was billowing out of it.
“The firemen were here within seconds. It was very quick and they were superb.
“I’ve seen similar things before but not in these circumstances.
“It’s lucky the wind was blowing in the other direction, away from the house, or there could have been a lot of damage. It was good to see everyone was safe, it was certainly a bit of change from lambing.”
Paul’s neighbour, John Morgan, said: “Once it started, it really got going. The Ellesmere fire crew arrived followed by Wrexham, then the police and the Highways Agency.
“They cleared up all the debris but the whole thing was completely gutted. It was quite spectacular, not the sort of event we’re used to around here.
“It’s a bus that goes every hour and I’m just thankful it wasn’t a school bus.”
John Deakin, crew manager for Ellesmere Fire Station attended the scene. He said: “The bus was towed away by a recovery vehicle. The turbo is believed to have blown.”
There was only one passenger on board along with the driver.
They were taken away from the scene and provided with breathing apparatus.
Mr Deakin added: “We used one hose jet, one main jet and had to close the road off for an hour.
“The Highways Agency is now going to assess the damage to the asphalt as some of it has been melted by the fire.”
The bus company did not wish to comment.