A1202 Leman Street reopened after gas cylinder blaze in van

The A1202 Leman Street at Whitechapel in east London has reopened after a blaze earlier this-evening which totally destroyed a Ford transit van carrying a propane gas cylinder.

Police closed the whole road from Whitechapel High Street southward down to Cable Street because of the danger of explosion.

Hundreds of office workers were warned to stay inside nearby buildings because of the danger from the cylinder. They were eventually allowed out after 90 minutes when the road reopened.

The van driver who managed to pull over when the fire broke out and raised the alarm was later treated by an ambulance crew at the scene after being overcome by breathing smoke.

Fire crews from Whitechapel and Old Kent Road fire-stations tackled the blaze which totally gutted the vehicle.

A Fire Brigade spokesman told the Advertiser: “A temporary safety cordon was set up as gas cylinders can explode when close to heat. The van was totally ablaze.”

The burned out van was tonight being towed away, the 15 kilogramme cylinder inside having been made safe by fire-fighters in breathing apparatus using water jets to cool it.