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Mum and kids flee lions' den after car catches fire

A MOTHER has told of 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.

Photos posted on Twitter showed the 4x4-type car engulfed in flames in the enclosure.

Ms Clements said: "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? 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 said her son got out of the car and ran, before they were rescued, but she called him back.

TRANSFERRED

A SPOKESMAN FOR LONGLEAT SAFARI PARK 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.

A spokesman for Longleat Safari Park said: "No one was injured in any way and no lions were hurt."

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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