M4 traffic news Treasured belongings destroyed in National Express coach blaze

A man who was caught up in the coach fire on Thursday has been given an eyewitness account of what happened during the incident.

Luke Gray, 31 from Royal Wotton Bassett was travelling home from London following a holiday in Egypt, when the National Express coach caught fire on the M4 slip road at Junction 15.

Multiple firefighters were from Stratton, Swindon and Westlea were deployed to the incident just before 3pm.

A shocking photo released by National Highways showed how the flames have ripped through the National Express coach, leaving it destroyed.

Now, Mr Gray has been given his first-hand view of what happened.

He said: “I was on the bus from London to Swindon and just before it got the junction where you turn off, someone smelt some smoke coming out of the back, they tried to tell the driver.

“But then the driver stalled, we thought he had stalled the bus as it just stopped in the road.

“The driver then got out, he looked at the back and told everyone to get off the bus and then it went up in flames.

“I thought the bus was going to explode.”

Mr Gray said a lot of people had lost a lot of important belongings and documents as a result of the bus catching fire.

“People who had luggage in the bottom were upset, there was a guy who had his birth certificate in there, some woman had a wedding dress,” he explained.

Luke added that he felt lucky to be alive following the incident.

He said: “When it went up in flames, the driver said it could have been on fire when we were driving down the motorway because he really wouldn’t have known.

“I’m pretty lucky to get out because sometimes people do burn in buses.”

National Express has since confirmed one of its coaches was involved in Thursday’s incident.

The company said it was the London to Swindon 401 service and the cause of the fire is not known at this stage:

A spokesperson said: “We can confirm a fire broke out on the 401 service from London to Swindon yesterday afternoon.”

“All passengers and crew were immediately evacuated to safety and there were no reported injuries.

“Emergency services quickly attended the scene and passengers were provided onward travel. We are cooperating with the authorities in their investigations into this incident.”