Firefighters battled an intense blaze next to the public works building in the Sackville, N.B., industrial park Tuesday. The fire broke out around 1 p.m., after a vehicle collided with a gas pump on the property. A body was discovered in the burned vehicle. RCMP Forensic Identification Services is assisting in identifying the remains. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. Photo courtesy of Wayne Feindel
SACKVILLE, N.B. - RCMP are working to identify a person killed after a car collided with a large tank of diesel fuel at the Town of Sackville's engineering and public works garage Tuesday afternoon, triggering a raging fire.
The collision ruptured the tank and touched off a blaze that forced the evacuation of Sackville's industrial park and sent massive clouds of black smoke over the town.
The flames burned through overhead electrical wires, knocking out power in the area.
Members of the Sackville Volunteer Fire Department prevented a larger problem by containing the fire before it could ignite a nearby tank of gasoline.
Luckily, the burning fuel flowed away from the public works garage, which is only metres away.
The body was discovered in the burned-out car after the blaze was put out.
RCMP Sgt. Paul Ouellette said investigators were looking for clues to the person's identity by trying to identify the car.
The vehicle apparently failed to make a turn and went straight into the diesel tank. The road was dry and bare at the time of the collision.
"It could have been a medical reason, we don't know, but there doesn't appear to have been any attempt to stop," said Ouellette.
He said an autopsy will be performed Wednesday or Thursday to determine the cause of death.
Once the fire was extinguished, the vehicle was towed inside the public works garage where police continued their grim work and searched for mechanical problems that might have contributed to the crash.
An Environment Department crew was also on hand after fuel spilled into a roadside ditch and scorched a small area of field.