A bus exploded with bits of debris flying off more than ten metres from the stricken vehicle after it became engulfed in flames.

Passengers on the 157 bus fled as the blaze took hold in Stafford Road by the junction of Sandy Lane South, Wallington, at around 2pm on Tuesday.

Hugo Pais, 21, of Bates Crescent, was on the bus when the fire broke out.

He said: "We were passing Mellows Park and I could see smoke coming out from the sides but didn't think much of it until the smoke became stronger and started to fill up the bus.

"Everyone ran down the stairs in order to get off as everyone was scared the bus would explode."

Sutton police said a passing patrol officer spotted the blaze and alerted emergency services. No one has been reported hurt.

Michael deLemos, owner of Surrey Banners in Stafford Road, said: "There was a loud bang because one of the back wheels exploded and shot off across the road.

"It was quite horrific.

"While the fire was raging and prior to the fire services arriving, the rear tyre exploded, like a bomb going off, with such a force that it was thrown 10 metres away from the rear of the bus toward the opposite side of the street landing about two metres from the curb, the police who were holding the perimeter moved everyone away from the burning bus to avoid any injuries.

Wimbledon Times:

"Five minutes later the fire services arrived and took control."

Transport for London diverted the 154, 157 and 455 during the incident.

A spokesman for the London Fire Brigade said contingency crews were sent to the fire as national industrial action was still in force.

Wimbledon Times:

Initial reports indicate that the fire is not being treated as suspicious.

Were you on the exploding bus? Give us a call on 020 8722 6359 or email newsdesk@suttonguardian.co.uk