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'We're lucky to be alive' say pair after chainsaw lodges under car and sets on fire near Mildenhall

Chainsaws which fell off a vehicle on the A11, near Mildenhall (11003442)
Chainsaws which fell off a vehicle on the A11, near Mildenhall (11003442)

Two women who were driving past Mildenhall 'are lucky to be alive' after a chainsaw fell off the back of a truck and became lodged under their car, setting it on fire as they were travelling at 70mph.

Friends Elizabeth Wilson and Jenni Lewis, both 29, were driving southbound on the A11 between the A1101 and B1085 yesterday when two petrol chainsaws fell off the back of a vehicle, suspected to be a white pick-up truck, and became stuck under the Toyota Yaris the pair were borrowing from Elizabeth's mum for the day.

Elizabeth said: "We were travelling at about 70mph and one of chainsaws went under the car and set alight - our car was on fire and everybody was screaming at us to pull over."

She said at first it looked like smoke was coming out from the bonnet and could hear a grinding under the car.

"At the passenger side the flames were coming up the side of the car," she said.

Driver Jenni said: "About four different cars pulled over and different people running over saying get out, get out, get as far away as possible."

The driver of the white truck also stopped, but when he saw the car was on fire left, said Elizabeth.

"We later learned the chainsaw was under the fuel pump," she said. "It could have gone up in flames completely. But a few people got the chainsaw out from under the car and we put it out with water bottles before the fire engines arrived," she said.

Fire crews from Mildenhall and Cambridge were sent to the scene at 11.05am yesterday, with police dispatched five minutes later.

"It doesn't even feel like it's real," she said. "We are so lucky to be alive, it was a busy road way and how the other chainsaw was missed is a miracle, just the whole scenario could have been a disaster. Someone was watching over us today."

Officers recovered the chainsaws and are now trying to track down the driver of the truck, and the pair have urged anybody with dash cam footage or more information about the incident to contact police.

A Suffolk Police spokesman said: "Anyone with information who can help with enquiries are urged to contact the Forest Heath Neighbourhood Response Team at Mildenhall Police Station on 101 quoting CAD 128 of May 22."

Nobody was injured in the incident and Jenni and Elizabeth said they wanted to thank everybody who stopped and helped them.