With the arrest of a gasoline truck driver, police detectives have uncovered the mystery behind a blaze that killed a motorist and injured three others while engulfing five cars at a Kilo 3 intersection in Jeddah on Tuesday.
Makkah Civil Defense Col. Saeed Sarhan attributed the accident to the driver of a gasoline tanker truck that supplied fuel at the wrong time to a filling station close to the signal at the intersection between the Makkah Road and the Qasar Khozam Street at Kilo3 in the city.
The truck carried a payload of 33,000 liters of gasoline. The driver allegedly drove out the truck from an Aramco supply station at 11:02 a.m. and arrived at the filling station in less than 30 minutes violating the regulations governing driving gas trucks within the city limits.
The driver started filling the benzene tank at the petrol station 10 minutes after his arrival without waiting for the regular workers of the filling station.
The negligent way in which he connected the supply hose carrying the fuel from the truck to the tank in the station caused spillage of a considerable amount of benzene to the nearby road. Moreover it was not the appointed time for delivering gas to the station.
A Civil Defense officer who arrived at the location, noticed the leakage and demanded the tanker driver take the truck away from the spill to avoid likely fires.
Moving the tanker caused spillage reaching the road intersection. A number of vehicles were waiting at the signal.
Some sparks from a waiting car may have interacted with the benzene and started the deadly fire. In a split second flames fanned a 20-meter long stretch of road.
The rear of the truck also caught fire in addition to the five cars.
Investigators who included experts of Civil Defense, Crime Evidences and the Jeddah police, have also stated the extent of damage caused by the fire in their report to the authorities concerned. The man killed in the fire was identified with help of DNA tests and his body was handed over to his relatives for burial.