A tanker fire on the Van Reenen pass on Sunday night caused road closure and severe traffic delays up to Monday morning.
SA Trucker was flooded with pictures and videos of the inferno by truckers who witnessed the incident.
“I stopped to investigate a possible wheel binding on the trailer, before I could do anything the tyres caught fire,” the driver told SA Trucker.
The N3 Toll Concessions’ Con Roux says the truck experienced mechanical problems and had pulled off of the road.
“The vehicle caught fire and the truck trailer carrying fuel raptured, causing fuel to run across the road whilst on fire and actually caused a further 4 trucks traveling in the opposite direction to catch fire.,” he says.
The load of Jet 1 fuel caught fight immediately causing the tanker to explode, sending the burning fuel down the roadway.
The four trucks, 2 tautliners, a tipper truck, and a car carrier, were set alight by the runaway fire.
Fire and emergency services worked throughout the night to bring the fire under control. It has now been extinguished, but mop-up and recovery operations are expected to continue for most of the day.
N3TC, the Ladysmith Fire Department, RTI, Okhahlamba Fire Department and an N3TC fire truck from Mooi River were on scene to battle the blaze.
On Monday morning one lane in both directions of the N3 at Van Reenen was opened for traffic.
Backlogs are expected on the N3, so it is advisable to delay your journey or use an alternative route.
No injuries were reported in the inferno.