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600 London taxis taken off road after spate of mystery fires

PUBLISHED: 22:54 25 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:39 05 October 2010

One of the wrecked London taxis... completely burned out

One of the wrecked London taxis... completely burned out

FIRE investigators have been examining the burnt-out wrecks of eight London taxis which mysteriously burst into flame. Transport for London has recalled around 600 cabs after the eighth vehicle caught fire. Six of the wrecks have ended up at a specialist taxi dealership in London’s East End, where they are being closely looked at

Else Kvist

FIRE investigators have been examining the burnt-out wrecks of eight London taxis which mysteriously burst into flames.

Transport for London has recalled around 600 cabs after the eighth vehicle caught light.

Public Carriage Office taxi director Ed Thompson said: “This is a blow for taxi drivers, but is not a step we take lightly.

“We just can’t take chances with the lives of drivers, passengers and other road users.”

Six of the wrecks have ended up at a specialist taxi dealership at Bethnal Green in London’s East End, where they are being closely looked at.

The dealership, KPM-UK, housed under the railway arches, is one of only two in London for the make of cabs that has been plagued by the mysterious fires.

The investigators still haven’t worked out what has been causing the engines to burst into flame.

Drivers suddenly saw smoke seeping out from the bonnet before the vehicles became engulfed in flame—in just three or four minutes.

They leapt clear just in time. None was injured, nor was any cab passenger affected.

Owners of the TX4-type cabs with a 56’ registration had earlier been asked to take their vehicles for safety checks before being allowed back on the road.

The makers, LTI, had been unable to identify the fault after inspecting around 200 cabs, said City Hall.

The vast majority of London’s 21,000 taxis are not affected and are safe, TfL assured.

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