There was 'carnage' for passengers in Thamesmead as a bus was evacuated over an abandoned briefcase that was claimed just minutes later.

Passengers on the 472 towards Woolwich were evacuated yesterday in Central Way as an inspector was alerted to a briefcase that had been left on board.

The bus was evacuated for approximately six minutes, before the briefcase's owner eventually returned, claiming he had forgotten his belongings.

One passenger, who did not want to be named, said she alerted the inspector to the "suspicious" package.

They said: "It was very tense there was another pram alongside mine and a lady had a baby in her arms she heard what I'd said to the ticket inspector and she also panicked then tried to get her baby in the pram quickly and get off with me.

"School boys asked me what was happening and I told them to get off the bus and run and at that point the inspector told everyone to evacuate immediately it was carnage and everyone started running away from the bus and as I was at the traffic lights another lady scooped her son up and ran across the road with me the inspector then called the police and that was when I was running home."

A spokesman for Transport For London said the inspector followed procedure, and that the situation was over very quickly.

He said: "There were no road closures or anything like that. The bus was evacuated for approximately six minutes later, it was relatively minor."

No further action has been taken, although police were called as the bus was evacuated.

A spokesman for the Met Police said: "The man who left his case on the bus came back for it.

"I am sure that 'words of advice' were given!"