26 Apr 2018

Gallipoli tour bus fire: NZers to get emergency passports

7:51 am on 26 April 2018

New Zealanders heading to Gallipoli for Anzac Day whose bus went up in flames are thankful to be alive despite many having lost passports, money and other belongings in the fire.

The tour bus caught fire as it was heading to the Anzac Day services in Gallipoli, Turkey.

The tour bus caught fire as it was heading to the Anzac Day services in Gallipoli, Turkey. Photo: Supplied to RNZ

The bus carrying Australians and a group of 15 New Zealanders was making its way from the Turkish city of Izmir to Gallipoli for the Anzac day commemorations.

A New Zealand woman who escaped the Turkish tour bus, said the bus stopped when the back started to fill with smoke.

She said everyone was rushed off the bus quickly, before it burst into flames.

"The bus just stopped working and it was just filled with smoke ... our tour leader and the bus driver were really good at getting us off really quickly and acting really quickly.

"Looked back once we were on the road and it was just engulfed in like five minutes.

"It was quite overwhelming."

"There's a lot of people that didn't really get time to get any of their belongings - passports and cameras, money and everything, wallets - so it's been pretty devastating but at the same time we're still alive."

She said they were now in Gallipoli and had climbed up Anzac Cove and everyone was pretty happy.

She personally had lost many of her belongings, she said.

"I'm in the exact same boat as everybody else... A lot of people were lucky and got to grab their bags, they just had them in front of them and just took them with them when they were leaving.

Ms Whaitiri said the New Zealand Embassy in Turkey had been working with the passengers to help them get emergency passports.

"They've been really supportive ... we're on our way to do that this afternoon, make sure everything's sorted out before our flight home on Friday."

Ms Whaitiri said a local cafe had hosted the tourists while police were called after the bus caught alight.

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