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Burnt trucks along N3 freeways a danger to other motorists

By early this morning, there was still no clue what caused the fire that destroyed the two north-bound cargo-laden trucks, leaving another partly burnt down, on the N3 freeway near Vosloorus last night, spokesperson for the Ekurhuleni Emergency Services (EMS) William Ntladi said.

Ntladi also confirmed that neither the police nor the EMPD has details of what could have happened to the truck drivers and their crew.

“At this stage, we are not even sure of the number of people who were in each of these trucks. But we assume there may have been at least two crew members in each of the trucks,” said Ntladi.

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Speaking to Kathorus MAIL this morning about the incident which he said was reported to the EMS at around 10 pm last night, Ntladi said the trucks were found burning not far from the Pelser bridge located between the nearby Somalia informal settlement and Extension 14 in Vosloorus.

“While our officers were attending to the fire, about a 100 meters further down the same road we noticed fire engulfing a second truck,” said Ntladi. He said by the time the officers reached the second incident, a third truck pulling two trailers laden with cargo, which was also heading in the northerly direction, burst into “a ball of flames”.

“We have no idea what happened to the drivers of the three burnt cargo trucks. As far as our assessment is concerned, we are unable to link the incidents to neither the residents of the nearby Somalia informal settlement nor the residents of the nearby suburb of Extension 14 in Vosloorus as there were no protest actions reported in the area before or after the three incidents,” Ntladi said.

Ntladi said the EMS summoned the help of neighbouring fire stations to help deal with the fires which posed a safety threat to other north-bound road users along the N3.

He said the EMPD and SAPS have taken over the investigation to determine the cause of the fire. The police will also trace the missing drivers and their truck assistants.

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Ntladi has advised motorists traveling on the N3 from the direction of Heidelberg to avoid the affected area along Vosloorus but instead take the R59 off-ramp, or join the R103 to reconnect with N3 via the Barry Marais on-ramp.

A provincial spokesperson for the SAPS Brig Mathapelo Peters could not be reached to confirm details about the incident. However, EMPD media spokesperson Kobedi Mokheseng confirmed that the incidents took place late last night. He said the matter is still under investigation.

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