A woman and three young children had a narrow escape this afternoon after their car burst into flames on a busy motorway in Co Clare.
The black Peugeot was travelling north from Ennis on the M18 motorway when the woman noticed smoke coming form her vehicle. She managed to bring her car to a stop in the hard shoulder and evacuate the three children to safety.
Three units of the fire brigade from Ennis along with additional appliances from Shannon Town were sent to the incident which happened less than a kilometre junction 15 at Crusheen.
On arrival at the scene, fire crews found that all four occupants had gotten out of the car unharmed.
Thick black smoke was blown across the motorway forcing many motorists to slow down or stop. The northbound lanes of the motorway were quickly closed because of the danger posed by the poor visibility.
Fire personnel implemented emergency traffic management procedures and used their vehicles to create a rolling roadblock to safely bring traffic to a stop.
Motorists on the opposite side of the motorway, mostly unaffected by the incident, stopped and got out of their cars to take photos but were quickly moved on.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze however the car was destroyed. Once the fire was out, one lane of the motorway was reopened and traffic began to move slowly past the scene.
Traffic Infrastructure Ireland staff also attended the scene and assessed what, if any, damage had been caused to the motorway as a result of the fire. Once the vehicle was safely removed from the motorway, traffic movement returned to normal.
While not confirmed, it’s believed the fire was caused by an electrical issue.
Meanwhile, as fire crews were dealing with the incident they were alerted to an inbound aircraft emergency at Shannon Airport. Crews quickly responded to that call.
Last Wednesday, a car parked at the promenade in Lahinch Co Clare burst into flames unexpectedly. Locals managed to move vehicles that there were parked close to the car before it was completely engulfed. No one was injured on that incident.