BP has recalled its entire Australian truck fleet after one of its tankers lost its trailer and crushed three people to death in the state’s north-east.
A four-year-old boy and two women, aged 67 and 33, were killed when their cars were crushed by the trailer on Wodonga-Yakandandah Road on Thursday morning.
Police believed the trailer detached from the tanker as it went around a bend, drifted onto the other side of the road and collided with two oncoming vehicles.
“It’s a traumatic, horrendous scene on all levels. It’s a tragic day in this community,” Superintendent Paul O’Halloran said.
“It appears at this stage the first vehicle to be struck contained a single driver and then struck the second vehicle containing a woman and a young child.”
Superintendent Paul O’Halloran said fuel was removed from the truck to avoid an emergency situation.
Overnight, BP Australia president Andy Holmes issued a statement saying that the company was supporting external investigations and would recall its entire fleet.
“I have instructed the business to initiate an inspection program of BP’s trucking fleet with transport regulators across Australia,” Mr Holmes said in the statement.
Mr Holmes said around 42 BP and contractor vehicles would be taken off the road nationally as part of the recall.
“While the precise cause of this tragic incident may not be known for some time, it is essential we do all that we can to understand how this occurred and to ensure that it cannot happen again,” he said.
The national recall came after BP confirmed one of its tankers was involved in the crash yesterday and recalled its Victorian fleet.
“We are deeply saddened that there has been loss of life,” the company said in a statement yesterday.
“We can confirm that the incident did not result in the release of any fuel from the product tanker.
“In addition to fully supporting external investigations being conducted by the authorities as a matter of precaution, we have recalled all of our Victorian trucking fleet.”
Locals describe hearing loud explosion
Officers from the major collision investigation group were investigating the crash.
Police are interviewing the 50-year-old truck driver.
Harry Dennis lives near the crash scene and heard the crash from his house.
“We heard one almighty bang while we were finishing our breakfast around five to nine,” he said.
“I thought it was an explosion [and knew] something had really gone bad. It was too loud for for a gun shot.”