Multiple casualties as stolen truck crashes in Singleton

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TWO people are in a critical condition and several others seriously injured after a stolen truck crashed into several cars and a building and burst into flames in the centre of Singleton in the NSW Hunter region.

A fireball erupted during the five-vehicle collision on the New England Highway this morning. Rescue crews are attempting to free a person trapped in a car. The person has critical head and chest injuries and four other sustained minor injuries.

Carnage …The stolen crush collided with several cars before smashing into buildings and a pub. Picture: KOFM Newcastle‏

Photos on social media show a huge plume of black smoke and burning cars in the street along with debris strewn across the road.

Witness Meri Basci said: “He was so fast, he missed me and a few other cars in a millisecond. I am still in shock.”

Tony Pearce posted social media that the truck wiped out two cars next to him.

Arrest… The dramatic moment the truck driver is wrestled to the ground. Picture: Hit 106.9 Newcastle

“The truck, it wiped out the corner f (sic) the building then old mate jumped out and tried to steal another truck. Cops got him,” he commented.

The truck was reportedly stolen from the BP service station at Murrurundi earlier in the day, while the owner was paying for fuel, the Singleton Argus reported.

A statement from police said officers spotted the truck being driven erratically south along the New England Highway, through Muswellbrook and towards Singleton.

Chaos … Four people have been injured, two critically, in the horror crash. Picture: ABC NewcastleFireball … An exclusion zone has been set up in Singleton. Picture: KOFM Newcastle
Chaos … Four people have been injured, two critically, in the horror crash. Picture: ABC NewcastleFireball … An exclusion zone has been set up in Singleton. Picture: KOFM Newcastle

A pursuit was not initiated, police said. As it approached the town, officers deployed road spikes in an attempt to stop the vehicle.

It continued into George Street where it caught fire after crashing into several vehicles and buildings, injuring a number of people.

The driver was arrested at the scene and is currently being interviewed by police.

Police said a Critical Incident team from Port Stephens Local Area Command has been called in to lead an inquiry

The truck crash was one of several major crashes across NSW today.

Meanwhile, emergency services are at the scene of a fiery B-double truck crash that has closed the Hume Highway in the NSW Southern Highlands and sparked a grass fire.

The accident happened around 8.30am on Wednesday on the Wingecarribee Bridge near Berrima, and drivers are being diverted, according to the Transport Management Centre.

A miraculous escape for a truck driver after his semi-trailer crashed and burst into flames on the Hume Highway at Berrima. Picture: WIN News
The scene on the Hume Highway at Berrima. Picture: WIN News

Nine RFS crews are working to extinguish the fire that started after burning debris from the truck fell to the ground below, while the truck driver has escaped serious injury, RFS Inspector Ben Shepherd told AAP.



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