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Petrified passengers aboard a bus fled for their lives after a terrifying crash with a car which saw the vehicle burst into flames.

Passengers fled the vehicle after it caught alight on the A24 near Ashington, West Sussex, at around 4.20pm following the collision.

Emergency services dashed to the scene after the Metrobus quickly became engulfed in flames.

Roads, including part of the A24, were closed for some time after the fire, reports Sussex Live.

A spokesman for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “At 3.46pm we were called to a large vehicle fire at London Road, Ashington.

“Joint Fire Control sent three fire engines from Worthing and Storrington to the scene.

“Upon arrival crews found one bus well alight, which had also spread to a nearby hedgerow.

“Firefighters have extinguished the fire using hose reels, jets and a compressed air foam system, and one crew from Storrington remains at the scene damping down.

“Paramedics from South East Coast Ambulance Service were also in attendance.”

By around 5pm, Inrix traffic monitoring service said: “A24 Southbound exit slip road closed due to coach fire at B2133. Note change of location.”

Sussex News and Pictures, which provided images of the scene, praised the “amazing swift work by our great emergency services, all persons safe.”

But the bus’s doors and windows were completely destroyed and it was stripped from the inside.

Ed Wills, managing director of Brighton & Hove and Metrobus, said: “An incident took place on Saturday 13 August 2022 at 15.45 in Ashington on the A24, West Sussex when a car collided with one of our buses.

“The driver successfully evacuated all passengers from the bus and moved them to a safe area as the emergency services attended the scene. The police are currently investigating the incident.”

Sussex Police and the South East Coast Ambulance Service have been approached for comment.