A 26-year-old woman has been killed and three others injured after a head-on crash between a National Express coach and a small car in southwest London.
The vehicles were engulfed in flames after they collided in the early hours of Sunday morning on Queenstown Road, in Battersea.
The rear-seat passenger of the grey Volkswagen Polo car died at the scene and the female driver is in a critical condition, said the Metropolitan Police, which is investigating the incident.
In footage circulating on social media, police and ambulance crews can be seen trying to dampen the flames and rescue people from inside.
Witnesses can be heard saying the vehicles “exploded” after crashing into each other.
Images show the car to have been a Zipcar rental vehicle, which can be hired by the hour.
One passenger on the A3 service from Gatwick to London Victoria was taken to hospital, while all other passengers were safely transferred to a replacement vehicle, a National Express spokesman said.
“Emergency services attended the scene and we will continue to provide every assistance with the ongoing investigation,” they said. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the occupant of the car, who sadly passed away.”
A London Ambulance Service spokesman said that despite the “best efforts of our medics, one patient sadly died at the scene”.
“We took a second patient to a major trauma centre as a priority. We treated two further patients for minor injuries: we took one of them to hospital and the other was discharged at the scene.”
The Metropolitan Police is appealing for witnesses to aid its investigation. Road closures remain in place at the time of writing.
Additional reporting by PA