Witnesses told how a Bradford street looked like something off a film set when an ambulance on an emergency call crashed into a lamppost and burst into flames.
The accident occurred shortly after 2am yesterday in Toller Lane at the junction with Hanover Close.
Abu Talha, 17, was walking home to nearby St Chad’s Road when he saw the crash and smoke billowing out of the vehicle.
His father, Zaib Khan, rushed out of his home after hearing the impact to try to help but he said everyone was already out of the vehicle.
Mr Talha said: “It was like a film set. The ambulance started burning up. You don’t expect an ambulance to crash. There was a lot of smoke coming from it.”
Mr Khan, 43, said: “It was scary, I was asleep when it happened but my wife heard a loud thud. The road is dead at that time of night. The lamppost was tilted when it hit. It could have been even scarier.
“You could not see anything at all. The road was full of smoke. Everyone was soon out of the ambulance. Most of the people on our street came out to check.”
He added: “The officers soon blocked the whole road off. The ambulance caught fire straight away.
“I went to the scene to ask a few of them if they were okay. The people in the ambulance said they had neck and back ache.”
Firefighters from Fairweather Green tackled the blaze and the two ambulance crew members, a patient and a relative of the patient, were all taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary for precautionary checks and treatment to minor injuries.
Police were called to the scene and the area was cordoned off for a time while the vehicle was recovered and the damaged lamppost made safe.
No other vehicle was involved in the crash which is not being investigated by the police but a probe has been started by Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
The vehicle was yesterday being examined for clues as to what caused the accident and the ambulance crew members were being interviewed by senior officers.
A spokesman for the trust said: “At the time of the collision the ambulance was transporting a patient, accompanied by a relative, to hospital.
“The crew members, patient and the patient’s relative were taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary as a precautionary measure. The circumstances of the incident are being looked into.”