London Duck Tours has announced that it's grounding its amphibious boats from today, after one caught fire at the weekend.
Many on board the boat jumped into the water as flames took hold and thick black smoke billowed out. A woman and a child were taken to hospital with suspected smoke inhalation.
The company released a statement saying:
"At this early stage it is not possible to speculate on the reason for the incident. Until the cause is established, the company will not be operating on the river and should technical or safety modifications be required to our fleet, these will be introduced prior to the service recommencing"
The boss of London Duck Tours has insisted his vehicles are safe, despite today's "full scale emergency" on the River Thames. Sue Saville reports:
A Duck Tours boat fire eyewitness has told ITV News he "really wasn't sure" the passengers "were going to be okay".
Phil Beasley-Harling said he saw one woman jump into the water after the tide forced the London Duck Tours boat away from a rescue vessel.
Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick has called for London Duck Tours to have their permit to trade "revoked" following the blaze affecting one of their boats on the River Thames today.
London Duck Tours could not be reached for comment.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) has launched an investigation into the cause of the blaze on a Duck Tours boat which required 15 tourists to be pulled from the water of the River Thames.
"People are clearly cold, wet and in shock but they were pulled from the water really quickly and that's testament to the work of our firefighters, other emergency rescue teams and others who rushed to the scene to help," LFB group manager Neil Withers said.
The Port of London Authority is also expected to investigate the blaze.
A woman on board the Duck Tours boat that caught fire has described the incident as “scary”, saying she and her family “weren’t sure what was happening”.
Londoner Elissa Wood, who was with her parents visiting from Australia, said she first noticed smoke as they travelled past Westminister.
"We saw the tour guide and the captain look at each other like 'this is a real problem' and then they encouraged us to put life jackets on and jump off," she said.
"It was really hot. The flames were really hot and it was confusing.”
London Fire Brigade (LFB) has confirmed a third person was taken to hospital suffering a minor head injury as a result of the Duck Tours boat blaze on the Thames.
Children as young as six years old had to be rescued from the water, according to the Press Association.
Most of the people on board the boat were visitors to the UK, including citizens from Holland, Sweden and Brazil.
Pictures by Elio Incontrada
Around 30 passengers were rescued today after a fire broke out on a tour boat on the River Thames.
It is the latest in a series of incidents involving the amphibious tour bus in recent months.
An investigation was launched in June after one of the vessels sank in Liverpool's Albert Dock and 27 out of 31 passengers were taken to hospital due to shock and exposure.
In March, the entire fleet was ordered out of the water after a bus, which was not carrying passengers, also sank in Liverpool.