'It could have been chaos': Heroic bystanders chase flaming car as it rolls towards busy high street

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Heroic bystanders stopped a flaming car after it exploded and rolled towards a busy north London high street.

Karla Mitchell, 42, had stopped at traffic lights in Walthamstow when the red convertible Ford KA she was driving exploded and burst into flames.

“Terrifying is an understatement, there was a huge bang and the whole engine exploded,” she said.

“We managed to get out and people were so kind, helping us and checking we were okay.”

Huge flames: The car exploded just minutes from Miss Mitchell’s home (Ebru Ozz/Facebook)

Miss Mitchell, who was travelling with her friend Dean, 30, and his dog Roxy, a miniature Yorkshire terrier, fled the burning vehicle but were not able to put the handbrake on.

The car rolled from Church Hill towards busy Hoe Street as flames burst from the engine following the explosion on Tuesday afternoon.

Hoe Street is popular with London’s foodies after a number of trendy restaurants popped up on the road in recent years.

Miss Mitchell told the Standard how men “appeared from everywhere” and chased the car down the road and used signs from nearby road works to wedge it still.

Lucky escape: Karla Mitchell was treated for shock after the fire (Karla Mitchell/Facebook)

“Bystanders managed to stop the car, thankfully,” she said.

“It was flying down towards the junction with Hoe Street, it’s a really busy road. I dread to think what would have happened if it had got down there.

“It could have been chaos,” she said.

Ms Mitchell, who suffers from agoraphobia, had borrowed the car from a friend.

Car explosion: The engine was completely destroyed by fire (Karla Mitchell)

She was treated for shock follow the explosion and said: “Being in a car is the only way I can get out so it was very traumatic.

“I can’t stop shaking, I can’t sleep.”

Dramatic footage shared on social media showed the moment the car exploded.

Flames appear to fly from the engine as thick black smoke billows into the air. 

A spokeswoman for London Fire Brigade said crews were called to Hoe Street around 4.30pm on Tuesday.

“Two people had left the vehicle before crews arrived.

“One woman was treated for shock by crews and left in the care of London’s ambulance service,” she said.


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