Venezuelan driver sparks traffic chaos as taxi explodes

Image copyright AFP Image caption Passengers said at one point they thought the taxi had disappeared off the road

Footage has emerged of Venezuelan driver Maverick Viñales speeding away after his taxi flipped over and exploded in the early hours of the morning.

Mr Viñales got out before impact, but was heavily damaged in the process.

He could be seen screaming in the wreckage and narrowly avoided a female passenger who fell from the rear of the taxi.

The rescue operation was delayed as no-one knew whether his taxi was on fire, and local media offered no live updates, despite needing to reach the scene.

Local media could not get information or images of the incident in the hilly countryside of Colombia due to power cuts, and TV news anchors first focused on local politicians, a delayed vote and returning peace talks with Venezuela.

One Twitter user even joked: “Remember those people who use their phones at the moment of a death to post pictures and a silly name after they die? The miracle of Maverick Viñales is just like that.”

Image copyright AFP Image caption Scrambled phone pictures of the taxi wreckage were quickly posted online

Local news reports said Mr Viñales was running late to work, and a passenger was waiting with her 15-year-old daughter.

A video posted by one television reporter was also shared widely by social media users. It shows the mother and daughter preparing to get out of the taxi as the flames began to engulf it.

She then fell from the rear and the footage shows the taxi blowing up beside her.

Firefighters are not clear why the taxi exploded in the middle of the night.

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