40 Fans Escape Bus Blaze

On a weekend that saw deaths at three European music events, 40 fans going to Dublin’s Oxegen Festival narrowly escaped disaster by scrambling clear of the bus they were traveling in before it burst into flames.

They were on the M50 road en route to the festival site at Punchestown Racecourse in County Kildare when they noticed smoke rising through the floor of the bus.

"There were people smoking on the bus, but the fire came from below the seats in the engine," Alice Barr, one of the group, told The Sun.

She told the U.K. tabloid that the driver stopped the vehicle as the smoke started to get "really bad."

"We all ran off the bus and then it just went up in flames," she said.

The fans stood in the rain watching as their belongings, including tickets and tents for the festival, were destroyed in the blaze.

Oxegen promoters MCD sent a new bus for the shocked fans and gave them new tickets, tents and sleeping bags for the July 11-13 weekend. The bill featured R.E.M., Kings Of Leon, Rage Against The Machine, Amy Winehouse, Counting Crows, Kaiser Chiefs, The Raconteurs and The Prodigy.

The Dublin police and fire brigade were called to the blaze at Finglas, which caused massive delays to rush-hour traffic as the road across the northwest of the city was closed for a couple of hours.

The driver of the bus was forced to abandon it because roadwork prevented him from parking on the hard shoulder.

Other acts on the Oxegen bill included The Verve, The Pogues, Interpol, Editors, Newton Faulkner, Richard Hawley, Scouting For Girls, Pendulum and Justice.