Council worker left 'shaken' after road sweeper he was riding bursts into flames

The road sweeper has now been completely destroyed. Credit: East Devon District Council

A council worker has been left "shaken" after a road sweeper he was driving suddenly burst into flames in Exmouth.

The driver escaped the vehicle unharmed, although the council says they were a "little shaken", after the incident which took place at around 6.15am yesterday (December 19).

The East Devon District Council worker had been going about his regular route in Strand when he noticed something had ignited in the sweeper.

He drove the vehicle into the middle of the Strand to minimise the possible danger to passers-by - where it then burst into flames.

The fire service was then called and put out the blaze.

A spokesperson from the council described the driver as the "hero of the day".

They said: "We are very thankful that the driver was unharmed and was so quick thinking to drive the vehicle into a safer place, away from passers-by, putting his own safety at risk in the moments before the sweeper was overtaken by the fire.

"He was the hero of the day."

The sweeper - which has now been destroyed - was cordoned off by the authority after fire crews used spill kits to absorb oil which had leaked from the vehicle.

The council will begin an investigation with the health and safety team and insurers to determine the exact cause of the fire.

The authority has also destroyed another sweeper of the same make to prevent further incidents.