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'It was frightening' - witnesses describe horrifying moment van went up in flames on A47

PUBLISHED: 15:22 29 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:18 30 May 2019

The van on fire on the A47 in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Cally Nunn

The van on fire on the A47 in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Cally Nunn

Archant

A man who witnessed the horrifying moment a van went up in flames on the A47 said he jumped out of his vehicle and hid behind the back of it as he feared for his life.

Emergency services on the A47 in Great Yarmouth where a van caught fire. Picture: Laura Marie Ingram.Emergency services on the A47 in Great Yarmouth where a van caught fire. Picture: Laura Marie Ingram.

Police, firefighters and paramedics rushed out to the roundabout between Pasteur Road and Southtown Common in Great Yarmouth on Wednesday morning.

The A47 Southbound was closed for more than two hours following the incident which took place just before 10.30am.

Shocked witnesses have described the "frightening" moment the blaze ripped through the van.

Matt Rusling, 45, from Kettering, was in his van just metres away from the fire.

The van burnt out on the A47 in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Joseph NortonThe van burnt out on the A47 in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Joseph Norton

"It was frightening. I saw smoke and then the van just went up in flames," he said.

"I was right near to the front so I couldn't reverse.

"I started to panic, jumped out of my van and hid behind it.

"We didn't know what was in the vehicle - it could have wiped us all out."

A plume of black smoke coming from the van. Picture: Laura Marie Ingram.A plume of black smoke coming from the van. Picture: Laura Marie Ingram.

Mr Rusling said he saw the driver jump out of the van as it went up in smoke.

The road closure caused long tailbacks of more than a mile around the Gapton Hall area as traffic came to a standstill.

One woman who did not want to be named said she had been stuck in a queue for more than an hour but had "no idea" what was going on.

Other passengers left their cars and walked down to the incident to try and find out what was causing the delay.

The van on fire on the A47 in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Laura Marie Ingram.The van on fire on the A47 in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Laura Marie Ingram.

Robert Noade, 43, from Belfast, pulled up to the roundabout just behind the van.

He said: "I saw smoke coming from under the van. It then took a couple of minutes before it went up in smoke.

"There were a few bangs and then all you could see was black smoke.

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"It was very scary. The driver jumped out of the van and looked quite badly burnt."

Two fire crews from Great Yarmouth and Gorleston used main and hose reel jets to extinguish the flames.

A spokesman for the east of England ambulance service said paramedics treated one person at the scene and took them to James Paget University Hospital for further treatment.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

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