Suspected coach fire was actually smoking passenger on M1

Emergency services were called to the suspected coach fire on a National Express bus on the M1 at Hemel Hempstead.

Emergency services were called to the suspected coach fire on a National Express bus on the M1 at Hemel Hempstead. - Credit: Twitter/@roadpoliceBCH

Firefighters shut a section of the M1 in Hertfordshire last night following a suspected fire on a National Express coach. 

The smoke alarm was activated on the bus near junction 8 northbound at Hemel Hempstead, near St Albans, shortly after 9pm yesterday (May 9). 

The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing, along with the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service were called out to the incident.  

A police spokesperson said: “We received a report of a coach on fire with numerous passengers on board on the M1 junction 8 northbound. 

“With help from our colleagues at Herts Fire and National Highways, it was suspected to be a passenger activating the toilet smoke alarm with a cigarette. 

“Suitable words of advice provided!” 

One person on social media branded the passenger “selfish”. 

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They said: “The selfish berk should have at the very least been removed from the coach.  

“I appreciate it’s a motorway, but nothing wrong with leaving them somewhere off junction 9 to make their own arrangements.” 

From July 1 2007, smoking is not permitted while waiting at bus shelters or while travelling in any taxi or private hire vehicle. 

It is illegal to smoke in virtually all enclosed public places, workplaces and public and work vehicles, including public transport and buildings associated with public transport. 

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