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Durban - The N3 Van Reenen's Pass between Ladysmith and Harrismith remained closed for most of Monday following a massive blaze in the early hours of the morning. 

According to Con Roux, commercial manager of N3 Toll Concession (N3TC), the company manging the N3 Toll Route between Cedara and Heidelberg, there is extensive damage to the road surface in the region of the Pyramids Motel on Van Reenen’s Pass where the incident occurred.

"T he northbound section of the N3 Toll Route on Van Reenen’s Pass between Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal and Harrismith in the Free State remains closed while recovery teams are working around the clock to remove the debris and wreckages of five trucks which burnt out in the early hours of the morning.  One lane in each direction, north and southbound, is open to traffic," he said. 

Roux said a  dual fuel tanker carrying both petrol and diesel caught fire and caused burning fuel to leak and spread across the road setting four more trucks stacked near the scene on fire.
 
“It is not possible to give any estimate yet of when the affected lanes of the N3 route will be fully re-opened. Due to the damage and the massive operation underway to recover, clean-up and repair the damage, road users may still experience some delays on Van Reenen’s Pass.  We appeal to all transporters and motorists to exercise extreme caution, especially during night time travel, while our teams work to make the road safe and trafficable," he said. 


" Our gratitude is expressed to law enforcement authorities and all services who are working tirelessly to support the specialists undertaking the clean-up and repair operation,” Roux said. 

The Mercury