Gifts up in smoke
CHRISTMAS gifts, cards and letters were incinerated after a B-double Australia Post truck burst into flames on the Pacific Highway at Crabbes Creek yesterday.
Thick black smoke streamed from the wreckage as the truck bound for Brisbane burned out of control just before 6am.
The truck was enroute from Perth and was loaded with mail due to be delivered in time for Christmas.
Australia Post spokesman Mel Ward said the incident couldn't have come at a worse time.
"It's shocking for something like this to happen so close to Christmas, but thankfully the driver is alright," she said.
"Unfortunately I imagine there would be lots of cards and presents in the post and maybe also presents ordered on-line from business in Perth."
The north-bound lane of the highway was closed for most of yesterday with traffic diverted around the scene.
Rural Fire Service inspector Corey Philip said the driver pulled over near the Tweed Valley overpass after he smelt smoke.
"There was a fire in the motor area and the driver tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher but it didn't work and the fire spread throughout the truck.
"Trucks from the Tweed brigade area extinguished the fire and remained on the scene for about four hours mopping up."
Rural Fire Service crews from Burringbar, Tweed Coast and Cudgen all worked to extinguish the blaze.
The fire was eventually contained by 8.25am but Insp Philip said everything on board was destroyed.
"It was a very intense fire and the whole of the cabin was burnt out.
"Police had to organise a salvage operation because the truck was just a molten pile of rubble and it couldn't be towed away."
Anyone who believes their mail was on the truck can call the Australia Post customer contact centre on 13 13 18.