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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 14:07 GMT
Army called in as gas van blazes
A26 van fire
Police feared an explosion after the van caught fire on the A26
Army bomb disposal experts were called after a van carrying highly explosive gas cylinders caught fire on a road in the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex.

The A26 was closed from the Maresfield bypass to the junction with Crowborough Road and a 200m (650ft) exclusion zone thrown around the Renault van.

An army remote control robot was used to open the van to allow firefighters to pump water on to the cylinders.

The road was closed for six hours until the van could be removed.

Sussex Police said it was a precaution and there was no danger to the public.

"A representative from British Oxygen Company was able to confirm the cylinders were undamaged by the fire and could be removed to a safe location," said a spokeswoman.

At least one property had to be evacuated until the area was made safe.




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