SAN FRANCISCO — Ten women — some of them in their 90s — escaped unharmed from a limousine that began smoking and caught fire in Northern California just more than a month after five nurses were killed while trapped inside a burning limousine on a nearby bridge.
The women were celebrating one of their friend's 90th birthday and were in the vehicle outside the birthday woman's home in Walnut Creek where they had gathered Sunday, said Mary Chapman, one of the passengers, on Monday.
The limo was idling, but the doors were open. Chapman, 63, said she got out and the other women — some of whom relied on walkers and canes — followed with help from each other and a caregiver.
"I think that's what saved us," she said. "The doors were not closed, so they weren't locked."
The limo fire on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge over San Francisco Bay last month spread rapidly, engulfing the luxury car in just a few moments.