Tesla electric car catches fire after hitting tow truck in Moscow

Technology

Joe Young, media relations associate for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), demonstrates a front crash prevention test on a 2018 Tesla Model 3 at the IIHS-HLDI Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia, U.S., July 22, 2019. Picture taken July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Amanda Voisard

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Tesla electric car caught fire after crashing into a tow truck on a Moscow motorway late on Saturday.

Footage of the incident on state TV channel Rossiya 24 showed the car by the side of the road engulfed in flames and thick black smoke. Two small explosions occurred within a few seconds of each other.

It was not possible to tell which Tesla model the car was and only the metal frame remained after the fire.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) stood by safety claims for its Model 3 earlier this week in the face of regulatory scrutiny, while documents showed the top U.S. automotive safety watchdog issued at least five subpoenas since last year seeking information about crashes involving the company’s vehicles.

Russia’s RIA state news agency website posted a video showing the car driving in the left-hand lane of Moscow’s ring road, known as the MKAD, before crashing into a tow truck parked by a safety fence that separates the carriageway from oncoming traffic.

The accident took place at around 2100 Moscow time (1800 GMT). The speed limit on the ring road is 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour).

Tesla was not immediately available for a comment on the incident outside normal business hours.

The driver, 41-year-old Alexei Tretyakov, and his children were injured in the crash but escaped from the vehicle before it was destroyed by the fire, Rossiya 24 reported.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Additional reporting by Rishika Chatterjee; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Lisa Shumaker

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