Dramatic Buckingham Palace electric rickshaw explosion prompts police investigation

30 March 2024, 19:22 | Updated: 31 March 2024, 02:09

A rickshaw was "totally destroyed" after it caught fire near Buckingham Palace on Saturday.
A rickshaw was "totally destroyed" after it caught fire near Buckingham Palace on Saturday. Picture: Alamy/PA

By Chay Quinn

An electric rickshaw was "totally destroyed" after it caught fire and exploded near Buckingham Palace on Saturday.

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Videos on social media show firefighters putting out flames while onlookers described hearing an "explosion" on Buckingham Gate.

Firefighters from Lambeth Fire Station were called to reports of a fire on Buckingham Gate at 12.44pm and the road was closed.

Greg Double, 35, from Fulham, west London, who was walking with his daughter to the playground in St James' Park, saw the fire and posted a video of the burnt rickshaw on X, formerly Twitter.

The video shows a blackened and broken electric rickshaw, while a firefighter used a hose to put out the flames, which Mr Double, a communications director, described as being "about four feet high".

He told the PA news agency: "When we got to the corner of Buckingham Gate there was a fire on the pavement - it got to about four feet high and was making popping sounds.

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"Fire and police were already on the scene and it was put out with minimal fuss."

He added: "Given the location, a few people were speculating about it being terrorism or some form of protest, but it just looked like a bike on fire to me.

"I overhead one copper say it was a rickshaw that had caught fire rather then an e-bike, but driver was nowhere to be seen."

The Metropolitan Police said the fire is not being treated as suspicious.

A spokesman said: "Police were informed of a pedicab on fire on Spur Road, SW1.

The vehicle was 'totally destroyed'
The vehicle was 'totally destroyed'. Picture: PA

"A road closure is in place while London Fire Brigade respond. No injuries were reported.

"The fire is not believed to be suspicious or deliberate."

A spokesman for London Fire Brigade told PA there were no injuries.

They said: "Crews were called to an electric trike rickshaw which was alight and totally destroyed by the fire.

"We sent one fire engine from Lambeth Fire Station at 12.44pm and the incident was over at 13.02pm. There were no injuries reported."

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