ONE person has diedafter a truck carrying ethanol burst into flames on the M1 Motorway at Cooranbong on Monday.
The explosion igniteda bushfire and sparked significant delays as emergency services rushed to the scene, between Palmers and Motorway Link Road, shortly before 1pm.
They were met with a fireball as the tanker burned uncontrollably and was too dangerous for firefighters to approach.
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A bushfire raged on both sides of the motorway, spreading to 16 hectares of bushland, before water-bombing helicopters joined fire crews on the ground to gain the upper hand. It was still being controlled on Monday night. There was no threat to property.
Lake Macquarie police Chief Inspector Darren Cox said three trucks and a car were involved in a crash in the lead-up to the inferno.
He said early investigations showed a truck driving south “clipped” another truck, which was parked on the side of the road.
A third truck and another car then crashed, he said.
Police confirmed that a truck driver had died but there were no further details on their identify.
“It’s caused a large collision that involved a B-double as well, carrying a fairly extensive fuel load,” Chief Inspector Cox said.
“A number of people have been taken to various hospitals – the drivers of those vehicles – for the purpose of mandatory blood and urine tests.
The Westpac #RescueHelicopter has been tasked to a reported tanker explosion on the #M1 at #Cooranbong. pic.twitter老域名购买/Pl324XMaIZ
— Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (@WRHS_official) January 15, 2018#NSWRFS crews are dealing with a bush fire ignited from a truck fire on the #M1 near #Cooranbong. Approx 15ha of bush land has burnt. A Aircrane helicopter is on scene assisting crews on the ground. No current threat to property. pic.twitter老域名购买/LSscDT7bGP
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 15, 2018