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Electric rickshaw ‘totally destroyed’ in fire near Buckingham Palace

An electric rickshaw has been “totally destroyed” after it caught fire near Buckingham Palace in central London.

Videos and pictures have been published on social media showing firefighters hosing the charred and smoking wreck of the rickshaw at lunchtime on Saturday.

Onlookers said they heard an “explosion” on Buckingham Gate, which ends at the palace.

Firefighters from Lambeth Fire Station were called to reports of a fire on Buckingham Gate shortly before 1pm and the road was closed. No injuries were reported, police said.

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.

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 there was “a fire on the pavement” which was “making popping sounds”.

He added: “Fire and police were already on the scene and it was put out with minimal fuss.

“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 overheard one copper say it was a rickshaw that had caught fire rather than an e-bike, but the driver was nowhere to be seen.”

Another witness standing by the fence surrounding Buckingham Palace posted a video showing how close the fire was to the King’s official London home.

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.

“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.”

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A spokesman for London Fire Brigade 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 1.02pm. There were no injuries reported.”

Sky News Source