Five women from a hen party were killed, including the bride, and another four injured when their stretch limo burst into a flaming fireball. The tragedy took place on the San Matro bridge in San Francisco Bay on Saturday night. It’s reported that smoke started to come from the back of the vehicle before the fire started, taking about 90 seconds before it was fully engulfed in flames, but the cause remains unexplained. The bride, Nerizo Fojas, 31, a nurse from Fresno, was trapped inside the vehicle. She was due to be married next month. Firefighters found the charred bodies pressed up against the partition in the back of the limo once the flames were extinguished, and which had to be identified by their dental records.

The male driver, Orville Brown, 46, along with four other women, escaped the vehicle alive. He has since been accused by one of the survivors of not doing enough to help the trapped victims. Nelia Arellano said he could have done more to help but instead just walked away from the blaze leaving the rest to die. She said: “When he stop the car, he get out from the car, he just get out from the car.” She managed to escape by squeezing through a tiny gap in the limo’s partition. Officials are continuing to investigate what caused five people to burn to death in the back of a limousine – overcrowding is one line of enquiry being looked into. It’s been said that the limo was carrying one more passenger than the state allows.

After initially thinking the taps on the partition was the bridal party asking to smoke, the driver then realised they were actually frantically trying to get him to pull over. He said he could not hear exactly what they were saying due to the loudness of the music coming from the back.

Limo Stop, the firm that operated the vehicle, issued a statement saying it would “do everything possible to investigate and assist authorities in determining the cause of this fire in order to bring forth answers and provide closure to victims and their families.”