A group of mostly young Australian and New Zealand travellers are safe after a bus taking them to the Anzac Cove Dawn Service at Gallipoli burst into flames.
The 45 passengers were about four hours into the five-hour journey from Izmir in Turkey when smoke started belching from the engine at the back of the bus and they were told to get off.
One of the passengers was from Italy, Fairfax Media reported.
The driver sought to put out the fire, but it was quickly engulfed, witnesses said.
Passengers from another bus in the group grabbed water bottles and a tour guide found a fire extinguisher, but they could not douse the fire.
The bus and passengers’ belongings were destroyed, but it is understood no one was hurt.
New Zealander Laura Smith wrote on her Facebook page she was “pretty shaken after a close call”.
“We may have lost all our belongings but by some miracle everyone made it out ok. Don’t take life for granted,” she wrote.
Many of the passengers lost passports and money.
Another passenger Amelia Wade told the New Zealand Herald the fire was “dramatic”.
“The flames were huge with random small explosions.”
The Australian organisers of the dawn service, Definitive Events, transferred the group to a hotel nearby where they received clothes and blankets before boarding another bus to get to the service on time.
A spokesman for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told AAP on Wednesday consular assistance was being provided to the passengers.
“The tour group continued to the commemorative services on the Gallipoli peninsula and Australian and New Zealand consular staff escorted the tour bus to the peninsula to ensure they arrived safely,” the spokesman said.
He said investigating the fire was a matter for local authorities.
The department warns on its Smartraveller website road accidents occur “regularly” in Turkey.
The World Health Organisation is undertaking a major 10-year project to improve road safety in Turkey because of the country’s poor record, which includes almost 7000 bus accidents a year.