A car engine “exploded” on a major Watford road sending plumes of smoke billowing through the area.

Footage has emerged of the vehicle ablaze in Bedford Street, just off St Albans Road, at around 6.20pm on Sunday, June 25.

Nicholas Dowds, who was on a nearby bus, told the Watford Observer he heard the car “blow up”.

Watford Observer: The fire just off St Albans Road, Watford.The fire just off St Albans Road, Watford. (Image: Nicholas Dowds)

“As I went past the engine exploded,” he said.

“What first caught my attention was the smoke billowing up as we went over the railway bridge. Everyone on the bus noticed it.

“My first thought was it’s the tyre place or the pub. As we got close it was apparent that the car looked like it had to emergency stop.”

Herts Police and the fire service shut the stretch near the Langley Road junction for three-and-a-half hours as the vehicle was recovered. No injuries were reported.

Onlooker Isa Silva said: “It was at the beginning of our road. A couple was driving and the car was already on fire.

“People were honking to let them know and they parked it there. They were inside the pub to get water and the car was getting worse.

“Everyone was safe and the fire brigade came as soon as they could. It was just so scary to witness and the car was blowing up a few times.”

The blaze is believed to have been started accidentally, a Herts Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said.