A WOMAN and two young children were last night in hospital after being dragged from a blazing car in a village near Winchester.

A five-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl, from Southampton, who were trapped in the car were pulled free by a passer-by who spotted the vehicle engulfed in flames.

The boy, who was airlifted to hospital, was said to be fighting for his life while the two others were in a serious condition having suffered multiple burns.

Last night the scene of the explosion near Hursley was cordoned off by police as they launched an investigation into the cause.

The horror unfolded just after 8pm when witnesses, driving along Merdon Castle Lane, reported seeing a burning Ford Fiesta which had exploded into flames.

They could see two children were inside, while a frantic woman was seen standing close to the vehicle.

One man was already desperately trying to drag the children out of the car as emergency services raced to their recue.

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Police and fire crews all descended on the scene just after 8pm, followed by South Central Ambulance Service who sent the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, three road ambulances, two rapid response vehicles and the Hazardous Area Response Team.

One of the children suffered such severe burns that his condition was described as life-threatening and he was taken to Southampton General Hospital via the air ambulance.

The little girl and the woman, 37, suffered severe burns and were taken to the same hospital via road ambulance.

A statement from Hampshire Police read: “Emergency services have responded to a car fire on Merdon Castle Lane, Hursley.

“The call was received by a member of the public just after 8pm.

“A woman and two young children were transported to Southampton General Hospital suffering with serious burns.”

The spokesperson added that the road would be closed throughout the night as investigations into the cause of the blaze got underway.