Mana truck fire drama

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

A truck driver drove his burning rig loaded with aerosols and paint thin­ner for more than a kilo­me­tre to save nearby houses in Mana last Fri­day morn­ing.

When driver Mike McGre­gor, 52, fi­nally found some­where safe to stop, he bat­tled burning ma­te­rial fall­ing from the trail­ers as he tried to un­cou­ple them.

Sev­eral ex­plo­sions rocked the ve­hi­cle be­fore fire­fight­ers ar­rived at 6.15am. The drama un­folded on Mana Es­planade on State High­way 1.

McGre­gor had to pass two petrol sta­tions, shops and houses be­fore he could even think about stop­ping.

In the mean­time, mo­torists try­ing to alert him to the blaz­ing rig be­hind him, tried to stop him to alert him to the fire.

‘‘The driv­ers of th­ese cars did not know what I had to do. I had to get the truck and trail­ers to open ground be­fore I could stop,’’ he said.

‘‘ If I stopped along the Mana Es­planade it would have been chaos. Who knows what might have hap­pened? I did what I had to do for safety rea­sons.’’

Hav­ing been raised in Porirua, McGre­gor knew the Mana Es­planade area well and he knew he wanted to stop his rig on the SH1 shoul­der just south of the Pare­mata round­about.

‘‘I was not go­ing to stop in town,’’ he said. ‘‘I had no choice. I had to get the truck in to the open.’’

The high­way was blocked, dis­rupt­ing com­muters. The south­bound lanes of SH1, which were cov­ered in foam, and de­bris, were closed for sev­eral hours.

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