M6 coach evacuation: caused by an e-cigarette
Toll road closed after Megabus passenger reportedly poured 'fuming' liquid into a box. The fumes, it has since emerged, were vapours from an e-cigarette.Last updated at 17:20
Roughly fifty Megabus passengers were evacuated from their coach this morning after a man was seen pouring liquid into a box, which began emiting fumes. An emergency response was quickly dispatched, armed police are said to have entered the coach, removed a suspect and evacuated all other passengers. A decontamination tent was set up and the passengers were questioned by police and subsequently cordoned off near the M6 toll plaza.
Reports suggest that the police were called to the incident at 08:20.
It was initially unclear whether the incident was terrorist-related but Staffordshire Police have since confirmed that they are not treating the incident as a chemical spill, nor a 'terror-related' crime.
Footage of the cordoned area depicted a number of people - many women and children - in a small, square enclosure awaiting further instruction.
A spokeswoman for Megabus, which is operated by Stagecoach, said: "We are assisting police with their inquiries into an allegation made against a passenger who was travelling on board one of our services." Later Megabus made a statement saying, "We are making arrangements to provide onward travel for passengers as soon as we receive clearance from the police."
The coach was on the Preston to London route.
An initial video of the incident, prior to confirmation of its nature:
At roughly 13:00, the event appeared to be drawing to a close. The coach was driven away, the passengers were moved from the area and Staffordshire Police confirmed that the indicent at no point endangered any of the passengers.
The police service will no doubt be encouraged by what was a rapid and comrehensive response effort. If anything, the exercise would have provided important, hands-on lessons to be taken to the Olympics later this month.