Friday 31 October 2014

Driver's miracle escape after car bursts into flames on country road

In separate incidents, a truck driver had a similar escape in Kerry yesterday and major traffic delays in Cork this morning following a bus catching fire on the M8 Dublin Road

Aishling Phelan

Published 16/01/2014 | 09:32

15-1-2014: A man had a lucky escape when his car caught fire while driving outside Waterville in County Kerry on Wednesday. 
Photo shows another man, not the owner, calling the fire service for help.
Picture by Don MacMonagle
A man had a lucky escape when his car caught fire while driving outside Waterville in County Kerry on Wednesday. Photo shows another man, not the owner, calling the fire service for help. Picture by Don MacMonagle
15-1-2014: A man had a lucky escape when his car caught fire while driving outside Waterville in County Kerry on Wednesday. 
Photo shows another man, not the owner, calling the fire service for help.
Picture by Don MacMonagle
A man had a lucky escape when his car caught fire while driving outside Waterville in County Kerry on Wednesday. Photo shows another man, not the owner, calling the fire service for help. Picture by Don MacMonagle
Another photo of the bus on fire in Cork. (Photo: Twitter/ Elaine Dorgan)

A driver had a lucky escape after his car was engulfed in flames while driving outside Waterville in Co. Kerry yesterday.

The local farmer’s car burst into flames along a quiet country road at 4pm.

A witness nearby rang the fire service for help and fire brigades attended the scene and extinguished the fire.

The driver was not injured and jumped out of the car as the flames took over the vehicle.

He was driving a Toyota Avensis and it is not yet known what caused the fire.

A truck driver also had a lucky escape yesterday when his vehicle caught fire as he drove along a busy motorway.

The man had completed a delivery a short time earlier and was making his way towards Limerick along the M18 motorway when he noticed the rear of his vehicle was on fire.

The incident happened at around 1.30pm on the main Gort to Limerick motorway close to the Galway/Clare border.

At the time, he was just a few hundred metres from a motorway rest area so he decided to continue on and pull in there.

The man parked the vehicle safely away from passing traffic and jumped to safety. Within seconds the vehicle had become completely engulfed in flames and burned out of control until fire crews arrived.

Units of the fire brigade from two counties were sent to the scene. Three units from Ennis Co Clare along with four from Gort and Loughrea stations in Galway attended the incident.

Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus tackled the blaze for a time before finally bringing it under control using foam. The truck was carrying timber pallets after completing a delivery earlier.

Specialist equipment was used to prevent the trucks diesel from spilling in nearby ponds and gullies. The truck was carrying about 400 litres of fuel which leaked after its tanks ruptured.

The incident happened close to the main Galway to Ennis rail line and thick smoke was blown across the tracks.

Iarnród Éireann staff also travelled to the scene in case the smoke became an issue for passing trains.

National Road Authority (NRA) motorway maintenance crews also travelled to the scene to clear the area of debris while a heavy lift vehicle was brought in to remove the remains of the truck from the area.

The driver was uninjured in the incident and was praised by emergency crews for his quick thinking.

“He obviously knew the road well and had the foresight to get his truck in off the motorway.

He knew there was a rest area ahead, probably the only one on that stretch, and he pulled in there.

If he had to stopped on the motorway itself, there would have been chaos. He did well,” one fire fighter said.

Meanwhile, a bus is reported to be on fire on the M8 motorway northbound in Cork

AA Roadwatch are warning motorists’ visibility may be affected as there are large amounts of smoke at the incident scene, one mile outside Glanmire in Watergrasshill.

Emergency services are finishing up at the scene.

The driver was the only occupant of the bus at the time of the fire and is reported to be safe and well.

AA Roadwatch are advising motorists to divert at the Glanmire Junction 18 to avoid delays. Traffic is very busy on route and delays are almost back to the Skehard Rd Junction on the South Ring Road.

Garda do not believe the cause of the fire is suspicious.

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