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Fire department emergency vehicle (symbolic image)

Photo: Marijan Murat/dpa

A man saved a senior citizen from a burning car with his pocket knife.

According to police reports on Thursday, a fire broke out in the interior between the driver and passenger seats, probably due to a technical defect.

The 65-year-old driver stopped at a bus stop near Schwäbisch Hall on Wednesday evening and got out.

The 72-year-old passenger could not get out of the car on her own.

Because of the fire, the driver probably did not apply the handbrake, a spokesman said.

According to the statement, the burning car rolled downhill and stopped at a fence after about 30 meters.

A man rushed over and, according to the spokesman, cut the belt with which the woman was still strapped in with a pocket knife.

The car burned out completely.

The driver and passenger were taken to hospital with serious injuries.