Watch: Kiwis escape burning bus at Gallipoli

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 25 April 2018, 9:29AM

A busload of Australian and New Zealand tourists have had a terrifying journey to Anzac Day commemorations in Gallipoli after their bus caught fire.

Forty-five passengers were making their way from Izmir about five hours from Anzac Cove, when the engine on their bus started to smoke.

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The bus went up in flames as tourists made their way to Anzac Cove. Photo / Laura Smith

The bus went up in flames as tourists made their way to Anzac Cove. Photo / Laura Smith

The driver ordered everyone off as they tried to douse the flames.

The local fire brigade was called but the bus was soon engulfed in flames.

No passengers were injured but their luggage was incinerated.

Kiwi Laura Smith posted about the close call on Facebook saying, "Pretty shaken after a close call today. We may have lost all our belongings but by some miracle everyone made it out ok. Don't take life for granted".

Smith described the blaze to the Herald.

"The back of the bus started to go up in smoke and the bus driver turned the engine off in the middle of the road halfway up a hill," she said.

"We all ran off the bus and were told to run into the field.

The bus was fully engulfed in flames. Photo / Laura Smith

The bus was fully engulfed in flames. Photo / Laura Smith

"The fire services came and put it out and the mayor and his wife came to give their condolences and bought us food and drink."

Smith said her passport and wallet were lost in the fire and was not sure how or would impact on her travel.

A bus carrying Kiwis and Australians to Anzac Cove went up in flames. Photo / Laura Smith

A bus carrying Kiwis and Australians to Anzac Cove went up in flames. Photo / Laura Smith

"We are currently at a hotel and the Australian and New Zealand consulates are here explaining what we can do to get things back," she said.

Smith was on an Anzac tour run by travel company Traveltalk.

She and many others from the bus were not letting the fire ruin their trip to the sacred battle ground.

A bus carrying Kiwis and Australians to Anzac Cove went up in flames. Photo / Laura Smith

A bus carrying Kiwis and Australians to Anzac Cove went up in flames. Photo / Laura Smith

"We are going to soldier on and head on the ferry to Gallipoli," she said.

"We have a whole lot of blankets and will be sleeping there for the Dawn service in the morning."

Smith shared photographs of her charred luggage and other passengers standing in the ruins of the bus looking for the remains of their gear.

Kiwi Laura Smith's luggage after the bus she was in caught fire. Photo / Laura Smith

Kiwi Laura Smith's luggage after the bus she was in caught fire. Photo / Laura Smith

Another Kiwi, Amelia Wade, was also on a bus tour to Anzac Cove.

"One of the other buses in the tour group burst into flames climbing a steep hill in high temps this arvo.

"People managed to escape with whatever they had in their hands before it burst into flames, so everyone lost all their passports, luggage, laptops etc as well as supplies from tonight," she told the Herald.

"Everyone was fine but a bit in shock. It was pretty dramatic - the flames were huge with random small explosions."

No one was injured just all luggage was incinerated. Photo / Laura Smith

No one was injured just all luggage was incinerated. Photo / Laura Smith

An Australian man she spoke to told her when the bus stopped they thought it had just broken down but then the smoke got bigger so they all rushed off.

It took about a minute to be completely engulfed in flames.

Definitive Events, the Australian company organising the Dawn Service, has taken the group to a hotel in Canakkale about 45 minutes from the site, where warm clothes and blankets are being provided.

 

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