York & North Yorkshire

Driver escapes GeoAmey prison van blaze

prison van on fire
Image caption No-one was in the vehicle when the fire started

The driver of a prison van had a lucky escape when his vehicle burst into flames on a North Yorkshire road.

Firefighters and police were called to the A19 at Birdforth, between Thirsk and Easingwold, just after 12:30 BST.

The road was closed in both directions for about an hour while emergency services dealt with the blaze.

The GeoAmey van was not carrying any prisoners at the time and the driver managed to escape.

It was the only incident North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service attended during its planned industrial action.

A spokesman for GeoAmey said: "We can confirm that at approximately midday a fire started unexpectedly on one of our escorting vehicles.

"No GEOAmey employees or prisoners were inside the vehicle when the fire started and no injuries were sustained as a result of this incident."

The fire is thought have started due to a mechanical issue and an investigation is under-way.

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