San Mateo County firefighters and California Highway Patrol personnel investigate the scene of a limousine fire on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge in Foster City, Calif., on Saturday.(Photo: Jane Tyska, AP)
(NBC NEWS) -- Five women in their 30s were killed late Saturday when fire engulfed a stretch limousine on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge over San Francisco Bay, police said.
Four other occupants escaped with injuries including burns or smoke inhalation, California Highway Patrol Officer Art Montiel said.
Witnesses at the scene told NBCBayArea.coM people were trapped inside the burning limo, which was a white Lincoln Town Car traveling from Alameda to Foster City.
Montiel said the women were "probably killed by the fire," but the cause of death was not immediately clear.
The CHP said the fire was first reported around 10 p.m. local time (1 a.m. ET) in the third lane of westbound state Highway 92.
The westbound lanes of the bridge, which connects San Mateo and Alemada counties, about 20 miles southeast of San Francisco, were closed for several hours Saturday night.
Witnesses told NBCBayArea.com the limo was not involved in an accident prior to catching on fire. A viewer, David Solomon, sent in a picture that he said of was of the blazing vehicle.
When asked whether or not an "explosion" happened, Montiel said he couldn't confirm that. He did say the "vehicle was partially engulfed."