A trailer truck hauling a container loaded with car tyres caught fire in the tunnel between Khao Yai and Thap Lan national parks in Na Di district of Prachin Buri late on Thursday night, and the north-bound road was still closed to traffic on Friday.
The blaze began about 11.35pm and was initially thought to have been extinguished, but the fire erupted again on Friday morning.The 22-wheeler was destroyed.
The trailer truck caught fire inside the tunnel at kilometre marker 159 on Highway 304 in tambon Bupram of Na Di district. Highway police said the blaze was reported around 11.35pm.
Fire trucks and crews sent to the scene were confronted with thick smoke billowing from the tunnel. The front section of the trailer truck was ablaze. Fire fighters took more than one hour to bring it under control.
Police said the truck was travelling from the eastern province of Rayong, delivering a container-load of tyres to Khon Kaen in the northeast. According to the driver, the fire erupted without warning while it was inside the tunnel. He tried to continue to the end of the tunnel, but had to abandon the fiercely burning vehicle.
After the flames were extinguished, the truck was later towed out of the tunnel for investigation and left near the entrance.
Around 10.30am on Friday, the fire suddenly erupted again, this time in the cargo container. Firemen were again battling the flames. Local media reported that the Nakhon Ratchasima-bound side of Highway 304 was still closed to traffic on Friday morning. Motorists were advised to take an alternative route.
The fire-gutted 22-wheel trailer truck inside the tunnel between Khao Yai and Thap Lan national parks in Na Di district, Prachin Buri. (Accident news in Prachin Buri Facebook page)