Driver in hospital after Halifax van blaze

Picture of the scene: photo copyright Steve Midgley
Picture of the scene: photo copyright Steve Midgley
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A MAN was taken to hospital after his van caught fire in Halifax.

A man in his 50s has been taken to Leeds General Infirmary with burns to his head and face after a van exploded.

The incident happened at 12.10pm on Southowram Bank as fire crews from Halifax and Rastrick were called to the scene.

Alistair Reeves saw the explosion unfold before his eyes.

“He pulled up to the junction at the top of Southowram Bank to give way to traffic and the car exploded in to pieces.

“The roof blew off and glass shattered everywhere. We were just parked up 15ft away from the explosion.

“We got him out and sat him in my car until the emergency services arrived.

“The man was in total shock, How he survived was a miracle.”

Another witness who lives nearby to where the incident happened said the roof was blown off and the windscreen had landed near to her garden.

“There was a massive explosion. It was like something had hit the house.

“We ran down and saw the driver sitting in the car. He was in total shock.

“We thought it was a car bomb it was that bad. It was awful.”

An investigation into the cause of the explosion will be carried out.

It is believed there was a gas leak in the van and it was ignited by the driver lighting a cigarette.

The blaze caused police to close Southowram Bank, Blaithroyd Lane and Godley Branch Road as the vehicle was recovered.

Officers reopened the road shortly before 3pm.