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5 women die in Bay Area limo fire

May 05, 2013|By Los Angeles Times Staff
  • San Mateo County firefighters and CHP officers investigate the burned limousine on the westbound side of the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge in Foster City.
San Mateo County firefighters and CHP officers investigate the burned… (Jane Tyska, AP Photo/Oakland…)

Authorities are trying to determine the cause of a fire that killed five women in a limousine late Saturday as it crossed the San Mateo Bridge in the Bay Area.

The fire appeared to have started in the back of the limo, officials told the San Jose Mercury News. A total of 10 people were inside the vehicle when the fire started, and five — including the driver — were able to escape.

Witnesses told the California Highway Patrol of a horrific scene of people inside the limo not able to get out as the flames advanced, according to KGO-TV.

KTVU-TV obtained a dramatic photo from a viewer that shows flames coming from the back of the white Lincoln Town Car.

“We have no idea right now where they were going or where they were coming from,” CHP officer Amelia Jack told the TV station.

According to the Associated Press:

The blaze occurred around 10 p.m. on westbound lanes of the bridge, which connects San Mateo and Alameda counties, about 20 miles southeast of San Francisco.

The Highway Patrol said smoke started coming out of the rear of the limo and the driver pulled over as the vehicle quickly became engulfed in flames. Officers were trying to determine the cause of the blaze, which wasn't the result of an accident.

Two of the women who escaped were taken to Stanford Hospital and the two others were taken to Valley Medical Center in San Jose. All four are being treated for smoke inhalation and burns.

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