A driver set fire to her car after she accidentally filled it with petrol instead of diesel - and then tried to suck out the incorrect fuel using a vacuum cleaner.

The incident happened in the town of Eschborn in Germany.

The 55-year-old driver, who was not named, only realised her mistake after she had finished putting the petrol into her Volkswagen car.

She was told that she would need to seek professional help to remove the fuel.

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In order to spare the cost of the mechanic she enlisted a 20-year-old man to help push the car away from the petrol tanks towards the garage's vacuum cleaners normally used for cleaning the inside of vehicles.

She had hoped to connect the vacuum cleaner to a hose, and then put the hose in the petrol tank, but the vacuum cleaner was too powerful and sucked petrol into the machinery too quickly before she could disconnect the hosepipe.

As a result, the vacuum cleaner burst into flames as it filled with petrol, spreading flames through the hosepipe into the petrol tank setting fire to the car as well.

The blaze that followed was so intense, it also damaged a metal container that had been left nearby.

Firemen were quickly on the scene to extinguish the blaze, but not before $52,000 of damage had been caused. The 20-year-old also needed to be treated for burns to his hands after failing to extinguish the blaze.

While the firefighters were extinguishing the blaze, there was also traffic chaos on the nearby street which needed to be closed.