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‘Boy racer’ crashes into road worker’s van carrying gas in Clayhall

PUBLISHED: 11:41 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:42 23 January 2018

Gas cans caught fire after a crash in Woodford avenue.

Gas cans caught fire after a crash in Woodford avenue.

Ellena Cruse

A car racing against other vehicles along Woodford Avenue hit a roadwork van carrying Propane causing it to burst into flames.

Residents said they heard a loud bang and came out of their housesResidents said they heard a loud bang and came out of their houses

The London Fire Brigade were called to the A1400 at the junction of Lodge Hill yesterday when the three gas canisters caught alight.

Residents came running out of their houses after hearing a loud bang and were told to keep back for fear of exploding shrapnel.

One of the racing cars drove off.

Another car was damaged after the impact and the people in the car made off on foot.

A man who witnessed the aftermath of the incident said the cars were weaving in and out and he first saw them “passing him in a blur” at Gants Hill.

Another bystander said two cars were trying to get in front of each other.

“A lane was blocked off with cones for road works and one of the cars drove into that lane to try and overtake the other car.

“He was weaving in and out, cones were flying, and they only saw the parked van when it was too late.

“One of the road workers was crossing the road a bit further up, but the other one was just in front of the van, the car literally flew past him.

“If he was just a bit more over, I can’t think what would have happened.”

A London Fire Brigade spokeswoman said they were called at 10.40pm to reports of a car in collision with a van and trailer.

“The car was 100per cent damaged by fire, it was completely destroyed,” she said.

“We had it all under control by 12.41.”

A resident who lived nearby said she hears cars racing along that stretch of road all the time.

“It is ridiculous, I am in bed and hear them zooming all through the night.

“It is such an easy road to drive fast on, even without realising you can clock up speed and that is without trying.”

Her neighbour interjected: “As much as I hate cameras we need more of them.

“It is not safe driving down here.

“Just a while back a young boy was killed by the bus stop and before that another car hit the fence at speed.”

The road was blocked off and drivers and pedestrians had to wait while emergency services attended to the scene.

The gas canister intermittently popped and banged the LFB had to hose them for an hour to cool them down so as to avoid a bigger explosion.

A Met Police spokeswoman said: “No one was reported injured.

“The occupants of the car that collided with the vehicles made off from the scene.

“The other drivers remained on scene and are assisting officers with their enquiries.”

The residents of Clayhall pulled together and waited alongside the road workers.

Showing that community spirit was alive and well in this part of the borough, one homeowner even made cups of tea and brought out packs of biscuits to share.

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