EYEWITNESSES of a major accident on an Essex roundabout have explained how smoke seeped out of a car before it suddenly burst into flames.

The fire broke out after a blue Volkswagen crashed into a tree on Greenstead roundabout, with the driver then taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Smoke started rising from the car and the woman was dragged out of her vehicle by a passer-by before it burst into flames.

One witness, who did not wish to be named, said they heard a loud bang near the Hythe Tesco supermarket.

They said: “I didn’t see the crash, but I did hear it and [shortly after] I saw the car had gone onto the roundabout and hit the tree.

“People reacted quite quickly – somebody pulled up in their car, ran up and got the lady out.

“There were three people who went and got her, and they used some sort of [makeshift] sheet to put around her.”

Echo: Smoke seeped from the car before it burst into flamesSmoke seeped from the car before it burst into flames

The eyewitness added they were on the phone reporting the incident to the police before the car burst into flames, at which point they relayed the information to the emergency services who called out a fire engine.

“Whilst I was on the phone, the flames started – I told them it doesn’t look like the lady is moving, and then the flames got really bad.

“I was on the phone [to the emergency services] for five minutes and then the two fire engines turned up.”

They added: “There was a guy in Royal Mail uniform who jumped out and was trying to get everything for this woman – he was making sure everyone stayed out of the way [of the accident] because there was a lot of traffic.

“Whoever got her out got her out very quickly, and the fire engines turned up very fast.

“I felt quite scared because I was really worried for this woman and I was worrying about the people who stopped to help her.”

A woman was then airlifted to the Royal London Hospital for treatment after she suffered serious injuries to her legs.