At least thirteen people were killed when an oil truck crashed on a busy road in Caracas, Venezuela, burst into flames enveloping several cars and a bus in an inferno, according to local police.
Another sixteen people were reported injured.
According to BBC, the truck flipped over after the driver lost control, thereby spilling oil which caught on fire.
William Martinez, the fire department coordinator in Caracas, said the accident created an extremely dangerous situation on the Pan-American Highway west of Caracas. He told Venezuelan National Radio that the fire was so intense that local vegetation caught fire and even nearby homes were threatened before the fire was brought under control.
Charred bodies were pulled out of the burnt out vehicles by rescue workers.
One survivor Mariana Salas told local media: People started to get out of cars, the traffic was paralyzed, nothing was moving in either direction. Around 15 or 20 of us opened a route through the vegetation and managed to save ourselves.
Associated Press reported that the 30-year-old truck driver, Tulio Estenique, was unhurt in the crash and was arrested. He will be arraigned and will be investigated for his culpability in the accident.
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez expressed his condolences over the tragedy.
I send my prayers to the victims of the accident on the Pan-American Highway. To their families my feelings of sadness and all necessary support, he wrote on his Twitter account.