Video: Family car explodes in lion enclosure
Published 20/04/2014 | 10:22
A mother has described the "dilemma" she faced with her two children after their car burst into flames in a lion enclosure.
Helen Clements was visiting Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire with her nine-year-old son George and daughter Charlie, 12, on Good Friday when their vehicle overheated.
Photographs posted on Twitter showed the 4x4-type car engulfed in flames in the enclosure, which is home to 12 lions.
Ms Clements told the BBC: "I thought the car had overheated. Then basically, we thought: 'No, that's not steam, that's actually smoke'.
"It was getting thicker and thicker and obviously coming into us, and then obviously we saw flames."
Ms Clements, 43, from Kingswood, Gloucestershire, sounded the car's horn to alert rangers who managed to rescue the family and clear the animals from the enclosure.
She added: "Unfortunately they were shouting to us: 'Get back in the car, do not get out of the car'.
"It was a situation of - what do you do? Do you get out of the car because you're on fire? And they're telling you to get back in the car, so that was the dilemma."
Ms Clements told the BBC her son got out of the car and ran before they were rescued but she called him back.
A spokesman for Longleat said the family were transferred to a ranger's vehicle and no-one was hurt.
The park was temporarily closed while firefighters extinguished the blaze.
Anna Bing, who was visiting the park, said: "We were stuck for 20 minutes in the enclosure not moving. We saw the lions being chased back to their pen by the keepers in a Land Rover quite rapidly.
"Then the queue started moving and we could see smoke. Then the firefighters arrived and as we passed the fire was out."
A spokesman for Longleat Safari Park said: "On Friday April 18 at around 1pm, a car overheated in the first lion enclosure at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park.
"The occupants of the vehicle, a female and two children, were quickly picked up by rangers who transferred them into their vehicle and the fire service was called. The car subsequently caught fire after the guests had been escorted out of their car.
"The lions were cleared from the enclosure and the safari park was closed. A route was cleared for the fire engine, which arrived quickly and extinguished the fire.
"In total the safari park was closed for 15 minutes.
"No-one was injured in any way and no lions were hurt.
Forget #bendgate, now it's #hairgate as hipsters complain iPhone 6 pulls beards
Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith Forget #bendgate, iPhone 6 Plus users have discovered a new woe to add to their list of complaints, and it already has its own hashtag: #hairgate.
Shocking footage: Mickey Mouse and Spongebob Squarepants beat up driver in bizarre road...
Men dressed as loveable cartoon characters Spongebob Squarepants and Mickey Mouse showed a much darker side than the cartoon icons are known for.
Man seeks female roommate to share ‘double bed and her body’ on Daft
Brian O'Reilly A DUBLIN man has posted an advert on property website Daft seeking a female roommate to share his bed – and her body with him.
'If she doesn't text you when she's drunk, you're not the one' post sparks online debate News
Daniel Radcliffe reunites with 'old friends' 2012 All-Ireland winning minors on trip to Dublin News
Family evacuated as deadly spiders hatch from Sainbury's bananas News
Online community reacts as YouTube celebrity jailed on child porn charges News
VIDEO: Sharon Ni Bheolain does ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’- as €3,000 raised for Motor Neuron... News
Ireland one of Top 10 countries to visit in 2015 - Lonely Planet Travel News
Irish Water crisis as 1m fail to sign up for charges News
Woman claims she was 'duped' into stealing Courts
Supermacs snack box takes over New York’s Time Square Food News
Sex offender arrested for alleged kidnapping of missing girl Mary Boyle (6) 37 years... Irish News
The Movie Show: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Vs 'The Judge' - Paul Whitington has the lowdown
Brad Pitt's long learning curve - is he a good actor?
Runs in the family...Gia Coppola continues the dynasty
Daniel Radcliffe: Radiohead helped release my dark side
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe revealed how he listened to Radiohead to help him find his...
One Direction top Rich List of Brits under 30
One Direction are used to being top of the charts, so it's no surprise to see the band head...
VIDEO: Chloe Jasmine: "I want a hamster named Simon Cowell"
Chloe Jasmine answers Twitter questions after leaving the X...
Video: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Announce Trailer - "A New...
Announcement trailer for Sid Meier's Civilisation: Beyond...
VIDEO: Steve Carell gives advice on how to have a better day
For the release of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No...
VIDEO: Geordie Shore crew talk Bed hops and swaps in Season 9
We grab the cast of Geordie Shore to chat bed hopping, saliva...
VIDEO: Controversial Ebola Halloween costumes on sale
A costume company in California has come under fire for its controversial Ebola Halloween...
VIDEO: Tipp fans fall foul of hilarious 'counterfeit enforcement officer' on...
Some unsuspecting Tipp fans fell foul of a 'counterfeit...
VIDEO: The X Factor Just Keeps Getting Better
The second live show of the X Factor proved that the competition is just getting...
VIDEO: Brad Pitt takes war hero to Fury premiere
Hollywood heart-throb Brad Pitt will also be looking to win the approval of his new friend...
VIDEO: Hollywood Reacts to Mysterious Death of Misty Upham
Meryl Streep and Juliette Lewis react to the mysterious death...
VIDEO: Lady Gaga Picks Fight With Madonna For Not 'Helping Younger Artists'
Lady Gaga claims that Madonna is not one of her top five...
VIDEO: Shane Filan on bankruptcy: 'It is a form of gambling when you buy a...
Pop star Shane Filan tells Barry Egan about the pain of going...
VIDEO: Barry Devlin on Horslips 'We got arrested a lot'
Barry Devlin of Horslips fame joins Barry Egan in the independent.ie studio to talk about causing...
VIDEO: Is Garth Brooks planning Irish tour dates for next year?
Rumour is rife that Brooks may come to Ireland next year.
Video: Assassin’s Creed Unity Cast of Characters Trailer
The latest Assassin's Creed Unity trailer introduces us to the actors behind the characters and...
Video: The Legend of Korra - Behind the Scenes with Titmouse
Behind the scenes with Titmouse, the animators responsible for...
VIDEO: Brad Pitt on Fury cast: 'Military training made us closer'
Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf talk about their new movie Fury at...
Video: The Crew - RPG Customisation Trailer
What MMO would be complete without an element of RPG customisation? The Crew...
VIDEO: Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons on how they deal with anger
We chatted to the stars of Whiplash, Miles Teller and J.K.
Top 10 sexist ads - prepare to feel your blood boil...
Love/Hate: All the action from explosive first episode of season 5 in pictures
PPI Radio Awards 2014
In Pics: EGX, UK's biggest videogames show
EGX is the UK's biggest videogames show, held over four days at London's Earls Court Exhibition...
Limerick Pride Festival 2014
Gallery: #EPFestival2014 - celebs and revellers!
Spot a celebrity, or yourself, at Stradbally, Co Laois, at this year's Electric Picnic
Cosplay Gallery - Gamescom2014
A big part of the fun of Gamescom is all of the wonderful Cosplay on show
Independent.ie staff step up to the #IceBucketChallenge
Lost teddy treated like royalty at Roscommon hotel
Lost monkey Oscar is being "well looked after" by staff at the Kilroan Hotel in...