A fully laden oil tanker burst into flames at KM346.1 of the East Coast Expressway 2 (LPT2) near the Kuala Dungun interchange. (pix by ROSLI ILHAM)

DUNGUN: A fully laden oil tanker burst into flames at KM346.1 of the East Coast Expressway 2 (LPT2) near the Kuala Dungun interchange today, causing a massive traffic crawl.

The incident involving the tanker ferrying 41,000 litres of diesel took place at 3.40pm, causing a five km traffic congestion from Kuantan heading towards Kuala Terengganu.

The uninjured tanker driver, Mohd Hisham Zainal Abidin, 28, said he was on the way to Tok Bali Kelantan to deliver a full load of fuel, after filling at a plant in Kerteh, Kemaman. On reaching the incident spot, he noticed that one of his vehicle tyre was punctured and he brought his vehicle to an immediate stop at the emergency lane to check on it.

As he was checking the tyre, he realised that it had overheated and caught fire.

Hisham said he sought to douse the flame with two of his vehicle’s fire extinguishers but it quickly spread.

To prevent the whole tanker from going up in smoke, he sought to separate the cab from the tanker portion but failed as the dismantling process was too slow.

He then immediately called the District Fire and Rescue Department.

Bandar Al Muktaffi Billah Shah Fire and Rescue Department chief Jaswari Awang said a fire engine and 16 firemen were dispatched to the scene after they received a distress call from the public about the incident.

" Our men are still trying to put out the fire from the burning tanker as of 4.45pm," Jaswari added.