Driver survives tanker explosion

A petrol tanker driver has escaped an almost certain fiery death after the vehicle rolled multiple times north of Newcastle and exploded.

Emergency crews were called to Seaham Rd, Seaham, about 1.45pm  

today

.

The 23-year-old man suffered burns to his buttocks, back and back of his legs, a Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service spokesman said.

‘‘As soon as we got airborne from our base in Newcastle we could see the smoke and it also set the bush alight,’’ Westpac Rescue Helicopter spokesman Glen Ramplin said.

‘‘He’s lost it on a bend and the truck has rolled numerous times.‘‘

He has managed to get out of the cabin just as the tanker exploded.

’’Crews from the NSW Rural Fire Service attended the scene and worked to contain the blaze.

‘‘The tanker itself was engulfed in flames,’’ Mr Ramplin said.

‘‘They were fighting a losing battle waiting for all the fuel to run out.’’

Paramedics on board the helicopter treated the victim before he was airlifted to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital in a stable condition.

‘‘He’s very, very lucky,’’ Mr Ramplin said.‘‘He’s used his nine lives in one go I dare say.’’

AAP

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