6 firefighters seriously injured in fire truck crash in Australia

The volunteer firefighters were battling wildfires in New South Wales when the crash occurred


dpa, Hamburg, Germany

AUSTRALIA — Six volunteer firefighters in Australia were injured when a fire truck fighting a blaze in New South Wales crashed, the state's police said on Friday.

Police said an investigation was underway following the crash on Thursday night when the firefighters were tackling the Clyde Mountain fire in Eurobodalla on the south coast.

In this image dated Dec. 30, 2019, and provided by NSW Rural Fire Service via their twitter account, firefighters are seen as they try to protect homes around Charmhaven, New South Wales. Six firefighters were seriously injured on Thursday night while battling the country's devastating wildfires. (Photo/Twitter@NSWRFS via AP)
In this image dated Dec. 30, 2019, and provided by NSW Rural Fire Service via their twitter account, firefighters are seen as they try to protect homes around Charmhaven, New South Wales. Six firefighters were seriously injured on Thursday night while battling the country's devastating wildfires. (Photo/Twitter@NSWRFS via AP)

"All six crew members were able to remove themselves from the vehicle," police said.

Paramedics treated the six firefighters at the scene before taking them to Batemans Bay Hospital for serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said, adding that the driver has undertaken mandatory blood and alcohol testing.

"You can see clearly it's tough conditions and our volunteers are going beyond the norm to try to protect community and lives," state Deputy Premier John Barilaro told Australian radio ABC on Friday.

Also on Thursday, a waterbombing air tanker that was fighting fires in the same state's alpine region of has crashed, killing all three US crew members on the C-130 Hercules aircraft, which was on lease Canada-based Coulson Aviation.

The cause of that crash is not yet known, police said Friday.

The air tanker, which can carry 15,000 liters of water and fire retardant mix, was one of 160 aircraft in Australia being used to fight the bush fires.

Meanwhile, the bush fire that flared near the airport in the Australian capital Canberra on Thursday, which was threatening homes and halting flights, is currently burning at an advice level, according to emergency authorities.

In Sydney and most of New South Wales, the air quality was ranked at a "hazardous" level on Friday due to bush fire smoke and dust.

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©2020 Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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