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Man woken by exploding milk van ‘thought it was a bomb’

PUBLISHED: 13:44 05 February 2016 | UPDATED: 13:53 05 February 2016

A milk van caught fire after a crash in High Road, Goodmayes.

A milk van caught fire after a crash in High Road, Goodmayes.

Archant

A resident living near the scene of a crash which caused a milk van to burst into flames said he thought the sound was a bomb going off.

Commuters had to be diverted after the crash at around 5am today in High Road, Goodmayes.

A section of the road was shut for several hours as police and fire crews attended after the van collided with another car.

Gurbhed Singh, who lives near the scene, called the police after being woken up.

He said: “There was a big sound and I thought it was a bomb – I said to my wife what is that.

A milk van caught fire after a crash in High Road, Goodmayes.A milk van caught fire after a crash in High Road, Goodmayes.

“I looked out of the window and saw a van on fire with two people running away.”

Van driver Amer Hafiz was delivering an order of milk when the crash happened.

He said the vehicle was his sole mode of transport for his business and felt horrible after seeing it go up in flames.

“I slammed on my brakes but we collided – a spark came out of my hood and it caught on fire,” he said.

A milk van caught fire after a crash in High Road, Goodmayes.A milk van caught fire after a crash in High Road, Goodmayes.

Mr Hafiz was checked over by paramedics for pain in his back.

“I don’t know what is going to happen, the police are dealing with it and I am shattered now – I need some rest,” he told the Recorder.

The road was closed for more than four hours and traffic was diverted down Barley Lane and towards Goodmayes station.

Dinesh Mandalia, proprietor of Eddie’s Newsagents said: “When I got to work at 5.50am, the road was filled with police and the fire brigade.

A milk van caught fire after a crash in High Road, Goodmayes.A milk van caught fire after a crash in High Road, Goodmayes.

“Of course we have lost trade from the morning commuters. Most of them went by but I hope they come back later in the day.”

A spokesman from the London Fire Brigade said: “We were called at 5.45am and sent one fire engine from the Ilford station.

“It was all over by 6am.”

Passer-by Emma Peak, 20, managed to film the van bursting into flames.

“We were driving up to the traffic lights, and everyone was turning around,” she said.

“Police and fire engines turned up not long after we saw it, there was smoke everywhere.

“We turned around to go round another way and then flares appeared to come out of the back of the lorry – not sure what was in there.”


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