Smoking in a Mercedes Sprinter carrying
gasoline powered equipment is REALLY bad.
MEN FLEE BURNING VAN ON A23
TWO men are recovering from serious burns after their van caught fire
on the A23 near Albourne.
Police believe one of the men lit a cigarette, which ignited petrol
vapours in the vehicle and set it alight. The men managed to drive
their Mercedes Sprinter into a ditch and jumped out, rolling on the
grass to extinguish the flames.
The incident happened just before 4pm yesterday on the north-bound
carriageway and caused long tail-backs in both directions.
The van, belonging to a firm in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, had been
carrying industrial equipment including four leaf blowers containing
petrol. The men told police they had smelt strong petrol fumes before
the fire started.
Fire fighters from Hurstpierpoint led by Edward Bunn had just dealt
with a minor lorry fire in Albourne and arrived on the scene within two
and a half minutes.
Paramedics in a passing ambulance saw the blaze were already attending
to the two men when fire-fighters arrived.
Mr Bunn said: "They were lucky to survive the initial explosion and the
impact of the crash. They had a soft crash and were able to walk out
but if they had hit a tree or a sign they would not have survived."
The northbound carriageway was closed for more than three hours while
fire crews from East Sussex, Hurstpierpoint and Keymer dealt with the
blaze using additional water from a water carrier sent down from
The two men were taken to a specialist burns unit at the Royal Victoria
Hospital in East Grinstead where their burns, although serious, are not
thought to be life-threatening.