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Mechanical fault suspected in tanker crash

A mechanical fault is believed to have caused a fuel tanker to overturn and explode on Sydney’s northern beaches, killing two people.


Emergency crews have removed the charred remains of the truck from Mona Vale Road where it lost control on Tuesday, ploughing into a power pole and four cars before erupting in a fireball.

Two men, one a local and one from Western Australia, died in the blaze and six people were taken to hospital.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner John Hartley told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday it appeared the roadway was not at fault.

“It appears to be a mechanical fault, not the fault of the roadway,” he said.

As investigations continued Superintendent Ian Krimmer of NSW Fire and Rescue said the clean-up at the site of the accident was going smoothly.

He said about 300 litres of petrol spilled onto the road in the process of getting the truck upright but the spill was contained by an earth dam.

Energy and traffic authorities were working on repairing powerlines and cleaning up the road, he said.

Fuel contamination has been contained within a 1.5km radius of the crash site.

An unknown amount has run into local drains, but does not pose a threat to residents, Supt Krimmer said.

He said the clean-up could be complete within days.

“Petrol is one of the easiest contaminants to deal with because natural forces such as warm weather and wind will evaporate the fuel very rapidly,” he said.

Police said the truck appeared to have lost control, hit a power pole and four cars before turning on its side and dousing the road in fuel.

It’s likely the huge explosion that followed was caused by a spark from the friction of the crash, Supt Krimmer said.

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