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Truck bursts into flames, causes traffic jam on Freeway No. 5

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A truck traveling on Freeway No. 5 yesterday was engulfed in flames, resulting in traffic jams as long as nine kilometers and worsening busy traffic during the Mother's Day weekend.

The incident occurred at 7 a.m. According to the driver surnamed Wu, smoke began to emerge from under the chassis while traveling inside the Pengshan Tunnel. He stopped the vehicle after getting out of the tunnel, but more smoke came out before the truck was engulfed in flames.

Firefighters soon arrived at the scene and the fire was put out in 40 minutes. As the police blocked the southbound road, vehicles on the freeway were jammed for as far as nine kilometers. The road re-opened at 8:15 a.m. after the fire was put under control.

The accident happened just one kilometer before the truck entered the 12.9-kilometer-long Hsuehshan Tunnel, the result of which could have been much more catastrophic.

The driver, Wu, was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol. Wu said that he had not drunk alcohol in the morning but did have alcohol the day before. Nevertheless, he was accused of offenses against public safety and is now under investigation.

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Firemen attempt to control flames spouting from a truck on Freeway No. 5, yesterday. According to the driver, smoke first emerged from under the truck's chassis and the vehicle then became engulfed in flames.


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