‘Lucky to be alive’: Truck goes up in flames near Liberty Mall

2013-01-25 00:00

THE driver of a truck that caught fire on the N3 near the Liberty Midlands Mall yesterday said he was lucky to be alive.

Thabani Yengo was driving from Cato Ridge, carrying crusher dust, when he saw smoke rising between the cab and the load bin in his wing mirrors.

He pulled over near the mall and got out of the vehicle.

Soon after, the truck was engulfed in flames.

“I almost got injured very badly. Just imagine if I was travelling down a slope,” said Yengo, who looked on helplessly as firefighters extinguished the blaze.

He said it did not occur to him that the truck would be destroyed when he saw the smoke and that he was unaware of what could have started the fire.

The owner of the truck, who identified himself as Buthelezi, said the truck had returned from being serviced on Tuesday.

He said he paid about R33 000 for the service.

“The service providers must answer. This was a good truck. I’ve just had it for a year,” he said, looking in horror at the destroyed vehicle.

Msunduzi fire and rescue division officer Nathi Mchunu said it took about 30 minutes to put out the fire. He said the truck’s fuel pipes had been leaking.

“The driver is lucky to be alive,” said Mchunu, adding that a fire could be started by excessive braking.

“But this is different because he wasn’t driving downhill.”

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