Person dead, man seriously burned after van explosion

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A person has died and man has received serious burns to more than half his body after a campervan burst into flames near Matamata.

The Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter was dispatched to Te Poi yesterday afternoon after the van burst into flames while travelling along the road, base manager and pilot Liam Brettkelly said.

The driver of the camper van, a 72-year-old Opotiki man, received serious burns to more than 50 per cent of his body.

Fire service northern communications centre shift manager Daniel Nicholson said two fire trucks and a water tanker were sent to the scene after an alert was made at 4.05pm.

"When we arrived the campervan was fully involved and we were notified of one person that was inside."

Mr Nicholson said unfortunately, crew members found the person was deceased.

Mr Brettkelly said rescuers took the badly injured man to a nearby farmhouse and submerged him in a bath of cold water.

Police, fire and St John attended the scene. The burned man was airlifted to Waikato Hospital in critical condition.

It was believed the caravan caught fire as a result of an accident shortly after 4pm.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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