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Sunday, 7 July, 2002, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
Disabled pulled from burning minibus
Two construction workers who stopped to rescue disabled passengers from a burning minibus on a Midlands motorway have been hailed as heroes.

The fire took hold of the bus near junction 15 of the M6 motorway near Stoke-on-Trent.

The driver and an assistant struggled to get the three wheelchair users off using the on-board lift but the fire had short-circuited the electrics.

Richard Testa, from Castle Donnington, Derbyshire, and John Balfe, from Ashley, in Notttinghamshire, were driving home from work when they stopped to help.


The minibus was so engulfed in flames that witnesses couldn't see them going into the bus the fire was that severe

Staff Fire Service spokesman

Staffordshire Fire Service spokesman Chris Bromley said the passengers were all very lucky.

"They did an amazing rescue. They stopped on the motorway and manhandled the three quite heavy wheelchairs out of the minibus.

"The reports that we got from witnesses was that by the time the third rescue was taking place, the minibus was so engulfed in flames that witnesses couldn't see them going into the bus the fire was that severe."

The bus was destroyed in the fire.

All five people on board the bus needed hospital treatment for the effects of breathing in smoke.


Click here for more from Stoke
See also:

11 Jun 02 | England
12 Apr 02 | England
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