Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Tough Week for Volvos and Renaults

The most amazing account of a recent disaster in France is posted here.

No, not the Tour de France itself -- but the incredibly true adventures of the Reuters photographers covering the Tour....
What happened, it appears, is that while the vehicle was cruising along at about 60 kph ahead of the pack, awaiting an arrival of disks from the motorcycles, the Renault’s turbo caught fire, sending a ball of fire from the front right-hand side along the underside of the vehicle. Within seconds the car was completely engulfed in flames. Thierry Roge, driving, managed to grab his camera bag on the seat beside him and jump out. Ian, seated at our custom made desk in the back, baled out as the car slowed and immediately tried to remove as many personal bags as possible from the back door of the vehicle.

Eric Gaillards computer bag was hurled out first, Ian’s personal bag was next. But the personal bags were very big and heavy and he was only able to throw them about two meters away. Within seconds the heat was too intense to stay anywhere near the vehicle and he had to back off and as the raging fire spat large flaming pieces of burning plastic as far as the few bags he had saved. Thierry and Ian had no choice but to watch helplessly as the burning plastic sparks set their bags on fire just meters out of reach.
Warning: contains graphic images of burning 300mm F2.8 lenses.

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