This is the moment a tanker lorry carrying a shipment of petrol overturns and bursts into flames just minutes after its distracted driver is seen using his mobile phone and lighting up a cigarette.
Authorities in the city of Shenzhen, in China’s southern province of Guangdong, shut the usually busy Guangzhou-Shenzhen Expressway following the accident at 9:06am local time yesterday (22nd March).
Dashcam footage from a nearby car captured the moment the heavy goods vehicle, driven by Mr Fan, slammed into the central crash barriers and its trailer overturned.
The tank, which was full of unleaded 95 petrol, immediately explodes into a ball of flames upon impact, the video shows.
According to the local fire service, the crash happened after Mr Fan encountered a slowing car and could not brake in time, overturning while trying to avoid a rear-end collision.
Video from the closed motorway shows firefighters tackling a huge blaze, with the burning petrol spewing clouds of dark smoke into the air.
The authorities said the fire took just under an hour to bring under control.
No was one harmed during the accident.
A subsequent review of surveillance footage from Mr Fan’s cabin showed him being distracted multiple times in the minutes leading up to the crash.
In the video, he is seen listening to and recording messages to friends, holding his mobile phone while steering with one hand.
He also ate watermelon seeds and is filmed lighting up a cigarette just two minutes before the fiery accident, the video shows.
The fire service said Mr Fan escaped his lorry tractor after the crash, which is still being investigated.
No formal charges had been brought against Mr Fan at the time of writing.
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