Ambulance fire: Patient pulled to safety before blast

A patient was moved to safety on a trolley from a private ambulance on fire just minutes before it exploded.

The vehicle had caught fire on the A228 at Colts Hill, Tonbridge, in Kent, just after 19:00 GMT on Tuesday.

Witnesses heard a loud explosion and saw three oxygen cylinders "going up in the air", leaving the NSL non-emergency ambulance "a burnt-out wreck".

Kent Police said no-one was injured and the fire was not believed to have been suspicious.

The patient was taken to Maidstone Hospital in another ambulance.

'Flat-pack furniture'

Guy Coggles, from Colts Hill, told BBC Radio Kent: "There was a very loud explosion, or what sounded like an explosion.

"When I went down to look it was an ambulance that had caught fire and the gas bottles inside it were exploding, so you can imagine the state of the ambulance after they'd gone off.

"It was more of a burnt-out wreck by the time I got down there - it was almost like a flat-pack bit of furniture," he said.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene, and the road was closed for three hours, police said.

On Wednesday morning, motorists in the area still faced long delays on Colts Hill while workers from Kent Highways resurfaced the road.

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