Serco van transporting prisoners catches fire

Two prison officers guarded the three handcuffed men at the roadside

Three prisoners had to be led to safety from a court transport vehicle after it caught fire by the side of a main road in Essex.

The Serco van was at the junction of the A414/B181 near Chelmsford when it was engulfed in flames about 13:00 BST.

The van driver said he pulled over after he noticed "a worrying smell".

The men, being transported from Harlow police station to Chelmsford Magistrates, were handcuffed to each other by the roadside.

Crews extinguished the fire shortly before 13:30 BST.

A replacement vehicle was sent out to take the prisoners to court.

Police said two of the men received medical treatment at the scene.

"The fire is not being treated as suspicious and there will be no further police action," the spokeswoman said.

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