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article imageCrowded SF tour bus burns on Haight Street

By Nathan Salant     May 9, 2015 in Odd News
San Francisco - Dozens of tourists visiting San Francisco’s iconic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood got considerably more excitement than they expected May 3 when their tour bus caught fire and burned on Haight Street.
All of the passengers and the driver were able to evacuate in the minutes before the double-decker bus became fully engulfed in flames near Shrader Street, about a block from Golden Gate Park.
No injuries were reported in the Sunday morning incident, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
“It was smoking then, literally, fire started coming out,” said Senait Weldetensae, owner of the Sunshine Wine and Liquor store on Haight Street, who was parking her car when the bus drove by with flames coming out of its back end.
Weldetensae and a homeless man on the street gave chase to try to get the driver to stop.
“We were running, telling them, “Stop,” she said. “I said, ‘Come on, get out of there.”
Fortunately, they were able to get the driver’s attention and he stopped as emergency personnel arrived to help evacuate the bus as dozens of bystanders watched in the busy tourist area.
Firefighters arrived quickly and helped to put out the flames, which had fully engulfed the bus.
Haight-Ashbury neighborhood resident Moiz Syed said he smelled burning chemicals and ran outside to see the bus on fire.
“The first thought that ran through my head was, ‘Is anyone hurt,” Syed said.
No one was, so Syed managed to shoot pictures of the scene and post them to social media, the newspaper said.
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire.
No managers of the Big Bus San Francisco tour company, which operated the sightseeing bus, were available for comment, the newspaper said.
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