Tourists leap into the Thames as blaze rips through ‘Duck Boat’

Passengers had to jump into the Thames to escape the blaze
Passing boats helped rescue stranded passengers
Passing boats helped rescue stranded passengers

SIGHTSEERS had to be rescued from a tour boat on the River Thames after flames ripped through the vessel.

About 30 passengers had to evacuate the boat after the fire broke out shortly before noon today.

Tourists on passing tour boats helped lift the stricken passengers to safety on a stretch of water close to Lambeth Bridge.

London Fire Brigade said the beleaguered boat was 33 per cent damaged by the blaze.

“Approximately 30 people were rescued by passing tourist boats,” a spokesman said.

“All persons were accounted for.”

Many on board the London Duck Tours boat jumped into the water as flames took hold and thick black smoke billowed from the amphibious vessel.

A woman and a child were taken to hospital with suspected smoke inhalation.

Further tourists were treated at the scene of the fire, opposite the Houses of Parliament.

A police source said the nature of the injuries “could have been a lot worse”.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police were called at approximately 11.55pm to reports of a fire on a Duck Tours boat on the River Thames.

“A number of people were reported to be in the water at the time. Several Metropolitan Police units attended including the Marine Policing Unit and the police helicopter.

“A number of people were recovered from the water. All 28 passengers and two crew members have been accounted for.

“The emergency services are in attendance at the scene.”