CCTV shows moments before fatal van explosion in Melbourne

Paul Dowsley

Security cameras have captured the final moments before a rental van exploded on a Melbourne street, killing one person and injuring six others.

Teams of glaziers replaced hundreds of shattered windows around the blast site on Wednesday as residents returned to their homes.

Footage shows the small truck driving through Footscray, its driver unaware his load of rubbish and gas tanks is about to ignite.

The Avis truck was carrying a load of rubbish and gas tanks, which exploded soon after this footage was captured. Photo: 7News
The Avis truck was carrying a load of rubbish and gas tanks, which exploded soon after this footage was captured. Photo: 7News

The explosion caused chaotic scenes, with panicked motorists and residents in shock.

One set of security cameras shows a man turn in a nearby car yard, reacting to the sound and walking outside to look down the street.

Through the lens of another, a woman can be seen flinching in a convenience store before going to the door to see what happened.

Barkly street was reopened on Tuesday night and dozens of glaziers moved in to repair windows shattered by the shockwave.

“Mayhem, it's just incredible, it really is,” said glazier, Keiran Watson.

The truck-van explosion shattered windows in the surrounding area. Photo: 7 News
The truck-van explosion shattered windows in the surrounding area. Photo: 7 News

“The fact that the explosion's way out here, it's blown out all the front windows, straight through all the units, blown all the back windows out.

“One hundred meters down the road, the same thing… We're talking, probably, a thousand windows, more,” he said.

Strangers left flowers at the crash site on Wednesday, as police identified the victim - a 24-year-old man from Deer Park - through his fingerprints.

A 24-year-old man who was driving the van was killed in the explosion. Photo: 7 News
A 24-year-old man who was driving the van was killed in the explosion. Photo: 7 News

He had rented the Avis truck from the company's Footscray depot a few weeks ago.

Its sides and roof were blown out, some of it being blasted into a nearby carwash.

“It is very messy. I think I can't open shop for couple of weeks,” said local business owner, Su Yin.

Most of the mess has been cleared but the tragedy has left residents with an eerie feeling - particularly Russell Bannister who lives just here and rushed to help the driver before realising petrol was leaking.

“Somebody died out the front of our house and that's pretty horrifying to think of,” said Mr Bannister.

Another resident, Sharon Firth, said: “It's very draining actually and if you haven't been through it you wouldn't know. It was just terrifying yesterday”.