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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C

Debunked: A double-decker bus which caught fire in Bradford was not an electric vehicle

A misleading post in a Facebook group that alerts the locations of speed vans in the Dublin area was viewed more than 5 million times.

A VIDEO SHOWING a bus fire in the British city of Bradford has been shared online, along with a description that falsely claims that it shows an electric vehicle fire.

One such post was shared in an Irish Facebook group that has been viewed more than 5 million times. But the bus was not electric.

“Apparently this is an Electric Bus on fire in Bradford, UK,” says the post in a group that alerts people to the locations of speed vans around Dublin, as well as other garda activity.

Many of the comments next to the video focus on the claim that it is an electric vehicle.

“The smoke is environmental friendly because is an electric bus,” one comment with more than 10,000 reactions says.

The video shows a real incident, in which a double decker bus erupted dramatically into flames on a busy street in Bradford’s city centre, earlier this month.

However, the claim that the video shows an electric bus is false.

“This was not an electric bus,” a representative from First Bus, the company that owns the vehicle in the video, wrote to The Journal.

“There were no passengers on board and our driver acted calmly and professionally in alerting the emergency services who attended the scene and extinguished the fire,” their statement read.

West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service told The Journal that they had sent three crews to attend the scene.

“The fire was extinguished, with no reports of any injuries. Our Fire Investigation Unit was requested to attend, and no cause had been determined,” they wrote.

Electric vehicles are often blamed for fires or other automobile accidents, including a video of a deadly explosion at a filling station in Uzbekistan that The Journal confirmed actually showed a gas tank explosion.

“Electric vehicle battery fires are rare,” Hussein Dia, Professor of Future Urban Mobility at the Swinburne University of Technology, wrote in The Conversation.

“Indeed, the available data indicate the fire risk is between 20 and 80 times greater for petrol and diesel vehicles.” 


False. A video showing a bus fire has falsely been described as showing an electric vehicle fire. The bus was not electric.

The Journal’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here.