Motorists urged to avoid N1 in Bloemfontein after tanker explosion

Residents in Bloemfontein have been urged to avoid the N1 between Nelson Mandela off-ramp and Church Street following a fuel tanker explosion.

The tanker, which was carrying illuminating paraffin, is said to have caught fire on Tuesday night. The truck driver and his assistant sustained minor injuries and are receiving treatment in the hospital.

Free State emergency medical service’s spokesperson Sipho Towa said the Mangaung fire and rescue services battled the blaze until it was contained at about 11.25pm.

“The N1 northbound was completely closed for traffic while the N1 south was open under strict monitoring by law-enforcement agencies,” Towa said.

“At one stage when the fire was spreading fast, both directions of the N1 were completely closed for traffic diversion.”

The fire has since been extinguished and the N1 southbound has opened for traffic, while the northbound section of the highway remains closed until the road is cleared.

A number of families whose houses are near the scene of the tanker explosion have been evacuated as a safety precaution.

The incident follows a gas leak which left 17 people dead in Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg last week.


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