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China: Around The Nation

Delivery truck carrying 500 parcels bursts into flames on motorway in southern China

Firefighters manage to save almost half of the packages

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 November, 2017, 6:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 November, 2017, 6:00pm

A delivery truck carrying 500 parcels burst into flames after its front tyre exploded on a motorway in southern China on Friday, according to state media.

The driver told CCTV he was on his way to Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, when the incident happened.

“I lost control of the truck and it rolled on its side – then a fire broke out,” he told the state broadcaster in a report aired on Monday.

Delivery companies across the country are working at peak capacity to deliver goods to millions of consumers who bought items online during Singles’ Day on November 11, which has become one of their busiest times of the year.

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In a video of Friday’s incident a firefighter is seen throwing parcels from the burning truck, trying to save them from the blaze. The driver told the state broadcaster he had tried to put out the fire himself before calling the emergency number.

The blaze was extinguished 20 minutes after the fire brigade arrived and nearly half of the parcels were saved.

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It followed a similar incident in southeastern Jiangxi province last week, when a delivery truck carrying some 4,500 packages also caught fire on a motorway, Jiangxi Daily reported on Wednesday. Almost all of those parcels were destroyed.

Singles’ Day, or Double Eleven, was first promoted as a shopping festival by e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2009. This year, Alibaba’s online platform Tmall broke its own record with sales of 168.2 billion yuan (US $25.4 billion) during the 24-hour online shopping bonanza.

Alibaba also owns the South China Morning Post.