Dangerous Goods Truck Drives On Despite Burning Load

A truck loaded with dangerous goods surprised the locals of Paremata, New Zealand, when it continued to drive on the Mana Esplanade whilst in the process of being consumed by flames.

The burning truck, loaded with paint thinner, batteries and aerosols, was driven for more than one kilometre along State Highway 1 in the early morning hours of Friday 20th March. Reports indicate that the driver, Mike McGregor, had to navigate past residential properties and commercial premises, including two petrol stations, before the vehicle could be stopped.

“I had to get the truck and trailers to open ground before I could stop. If I stopped along the Mana Esplanade it would have been chaos. Who knows what might have happened? I did what I had to do for safety reasons," said Mr McGregor.

McGregor’s efforts were complicated by the actions of his fellow motorists, with several concerned drivers attempting to alert him to the burning trailer by slowing or stopping in front of his vehicle. "My main problem was that I had cars stopping in front of me trying to stop me," he said. "The drivers of these cars did not know what I had to do.”

"I stopped at the first red light on the Esplanade. I became aware there was a fire on the back. I then gunned it and got the other lights. I was not helped by fellow motorists trying to stop me by slowing down in front of me."

Mr McGregor was eventually able to pull over besides State Highway 1 and decouple the tractor unit from the trailers.

Several explosions rocked the trailers before firefighters arrived at 6.15am. A New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) spokesperson noted that extra precautions were being taken owing to the range of flammable goods on board the truck.