CCTV:Sep 20/09:Canada/US border.Quick action by Canadian border guards is being credited with averting serious damage and injury, after a car burst into flames as it approached the Pacific Highway crossing Sunday.
“If the officers hadn’t been able to get the situation under control, it definitely could have been worse,” said Brad Valentine, chief of operations at the port.
“We had pretty good line-ups at about that time... most of our lanes open.”
The incident happened just after 8 p.m. Sept. 20, when a man waiting to cross northbound attempted to start his stalled Ford Mustang. The driver didn’t realize it at the time, but a burst fuel line had caused gasoline to spew from the vehicle’s underside.
Surveillance video shows the drama as it unfolds in front of a primary inspection booth.
A quickly growing pool of gasoline can be seen under the car, followed by a burst of flames when an ignition spark triggers an explosion.
“You can see the gas just pooling under the car, getting bigger and bigger... and then all of a sudden, poof, it just explodes into flames,” said Faith St. John, of Canada Border Services Agency.
The video shows officers reacting within seconds, grabbing fire extinguishers to tackle the blaze and working to clear a perimeter around the burning Mustang.
“It’s pretty amazing work by our officers,” Valentine said. “We got it under control quickly.”
No one was hurt in the fire. The B.C.-plated Mustang, however, was destroyed.
Six lanes were open at the border at the time. Three were closed to deal with the fire and its aftermath. Valentine estimated wait times grew to more than an hour during the ordeal, which lasted about 40 minutes from start to finish. Things were back to normal – 20-minutes wait – within about 90 minutes.
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