Blaze turns 4WD into molten heap
TWO ENGLISH backpackers had a lucky escape when their 4WD burst into flames on Fraser Island.
The fire broke out under the hood of a Land Rover, hired from Aussie Trax at Hervey Bay, as the men drove from Lake McKenzie to the Woongoolbuer barge landing.
It completely destroyed the vehicle and set nearby trees alight before it was extinguished by National Parks and Wildlife rangers.
The tourists, both aged 27, were about 500 metres from their destination, when they noticed smoke coming from the vehicle’s dash area about 2pm on Tuesday.
They told Fraser Island police that the engine cut out before they noticed flames coming from the vehicle.
Jumping out quickly, the pair managed to salvage some of their belongings before the entire vehicle was engulfed in flames.
Senior Constable Bill Worden said no one was injured but the two men were shaken after the dramatic event.
While there appeared to be no suspicious circumstances, he said, police would complete a report on the incident.
But a spokesman for Aussie Trax, who refused to give his name, said the company would not be doing an investigation into the cause of the fire because the vehicle was left so badly burnt.
“The car is a molten heap of metal,” he said.
“There’s nothing left to investigate.”
He said there was no way of telling whether a fault in the vehicle was to blame or whether it was the actions of the hirers.
“We don’t know what happened and we probably never will.”
Meanwhile, a French tourist has appeared in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court for drink-driving on Fraser Island.
Maxime Borde, 23, was driving with a group on Eastern Beach when he was stopped just north of Eurong by the police traffic branch during their Australia Day operation.
He returned a reading of .057 per cent.
Borde’s court date was brought forward so the tourist could continue his travels.
He was fined $250 and disqualified from driving for one month.