Driver scrambles to safety as HK$5.5m Ferrari bursts into flames

Driver scrambles from car just moments before it is engulfed; police blame 'overheated engine'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 April, 2014, 4:35pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 April, 2014, 9:37am

A HK$5.5 million Ferrari sports car went up in flames on a Happy Valley flyover yesterday, snarling up traffic for more than three kilometres to Aberdeen.

The driver, Chan Kwan-chau, managed to escape the blaze and was unhurt, police said.

Chan, 55, had just emerged from the Aberdeen Tunnel at about 2.30pm when smoke began billowing from his two-door, four-seater black FF.

He stopped on the Canal Road Flyover near Happy Valley racecourse and jumped out of the car shortly before it burst into flames. An emergency crew arrived 10 minutes later and extinguished the blaze just after 3pm.

"When officers arrived, the car was engulfed in flames and churning out black smoke," a police spokesman said.

A section of the flyover was closed until the fire was put out.

Happy Valley-bound lanes of the tunnel were also closed intermittently, holding up traffic all the way to Wong Chuk Hang Road in Aberdeen, the Transport Department said. Traffic was back to normal by about 4pm after the vehicle was towed away.

The police spokesman said nothing suspicious was found. "An overheated engine is the suspected cause," he said.

Alexander Wong Teck-sun, of the Institution of Engineers Automotive Engineering Specialist Group, said it was unlikely the fire was related to the car's design or to a short circuit. He said it could have been started by a foreign object, if one had been left in the exhaust during maintenance.

Car registration records show the Ferrari was bought by Paul Cheng Lik-man for HK$5.57 million in 2012. Auto Italia, the local distributor for Ferrari, was not available for comment yesterday. The company's senior marketing executive, Clement Li, said only that there were more than 1,000 Ferraris in Hong Kong.

The FF goes from zero to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds and its top speed is 335km/h.

Two months ago a Ferrari worth HK$4.8 million slammed into a concrete embankment on the West Kowloon Highway.