Motorway crashes in rush-hour fog put pressure on Green Goddess crews

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The Independent Online

Army crews were kept busy during the fourth day of the firefighters' strike yesterday, responding to fires, hoaxes and road accidents.

Army crews were kept busy during the fourth day of the firefighters' strike yesterday, responding to fires, hoaxes and road accidents.

As fog covered much of the country during the morning and evening rush hours, Green Goddesses became a familiar sight on main roads.

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

One man died in a car crash on the M40 in the heavy fog during the morning rush hour.

Firefighters and military personnel were called shortly before 7am to a collision involving two lorries and a Honda car, whose driver died at the scene. The crash at the slip road to the southbound M25 closed two lanes of the M40 and caused tailbacks to Oxfordshire. A man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

ESSEX

Military firefighters cut free a driver after an accident involving two cars on the M25 near the Dartford tunnel.

HAMPSHIRE

Royal Navy firefighters rescued six people, including a baby boy, trapped in a burning block of flats in Southampton. Two Green Goddesses and two crews of striking firefighters attended after residents of the block were trapped by a carpet fire in the stairwell.

Fire brigade crews were first into the building in Lordswood and doused the flames before Green Goddess crews aided the evacuation. Neighbours applauded as the 11-month-old boy was carried to safety by two Royal Navy servicewomen.

LONDON

Firefighters at the Old Kent Road station in south London responded to a police request for help. They used cutting equipment to free a bus driver trapped in his cab at London Bridge railway station.

MANCHESTER

The Army was put on alert after receiving reports of a Boeing 747 experiencing "flap problems'' as it came into land at the city's airport.

A Green Goddess and a breathing apparatus team were moved close to the airport but the plane landed safely shortly before 7am.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Army firefighters were again hampered by hoaxes ­ about one in five 999 calls turned out to be bogus. Yellow-painted fire engines were sent to a disused shirt factory in Foyle Road ­ the eighth time the alarm has been raised at the building during the second strike.

In west Belfast, a man and a woman were being treated for smoke inhalation after a house fire thought to be caused by an electrical fault.

STAFFORDSHIRE

A 20-year-old Stafford man faces prosecution after three hoax calls were allegedly made within 50 minutes on Saturday. Staffordshire Police said the suspect was interviewed yesterday after false reports of a chip pan fire and a three-vehicle pile-up in which motor-ists were trapped.

YORKSHIRE

Military crews cut free a driver after a four-vehicle accident on Ainley Top in West Yorkshire yesterday morning. In North Yorkshire, a Green Goddess and a rescue team attended a crash involving two lorries on the A1 between Boroughbridge and Knaresborough. Neighbours of a 42-year-old man trapped by a house fire in Baildon, West Yorkshire, broke down the door and pulled him to safety. Two Green Goddess crews attended.

WILTSHIRE

A Green Goddess and a striking fire crew were called to a garage in Swindon but were unable to save a man crushed to death by a girder.

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