Passengers on board a river cruiser were forced to jump for their lives into the Thames after an explosion on the boat saw it engulfed in flames and a thick plume of black smoke.
The eight passengers were cruising down the river near Twickenham in southwest London on Saturday afternoon when the blast shook the boat.
Christian Fahey saw the dramatic events unfold as he was wandering along the river with his two-year-old daughter, Willow.
“I heard a loud bang, turned around to see what it was and saw people jumping into the water,” he said.
Mr Fahey said he was concerned for the people on board who were “scrambling around and clearly very panicked” as the fire grew out of control.
“Two people jumped in the water first and they were screaming at the others to leave the boat,” he said. “The flames were really bad and the smoke was thick and black. It burnt out completely.”
He said those who abandoned ship were rescued from the water by a passing private boat.
Emergency crew, including firefighters, police and ambulance crew, also rushed to rescue the passengers and put out the fire.
A London Ambulance Service spokesman said it took around 90 minutes for crew to get the blaze under control.
‘We assessed three people with minor injuries and took one to hospital,’ the spokesman said.
The vessel was completely destroyed and left smouldering on the river bank.
Additional reporting by SWNS
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