As previously reported by The Inquisitr, yesterday saw massive shortages of toilet paper in Australia as people panic-bought the product. However, as trucks set out to replenish stocks this morning, one burst into flames on its way to a supermarket in Queensland, 7 News Australia reports.
Australians started panic-buying the essential item yesterday amid fears of quarantine. Since the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has entered the country and the worldwide spread of the disease, the concern is that the virus will reach a pandemic status shortly. With advice suggesting people suspected to have the illness be quarantined for 14 days in order to stop the spread, people have been stocking up on essential items should they need to place themselves in isolation.
There was also the misconception circulating that the majority of toilet paper sold in Australia was manufactured in China, where shortages are already reported. However, as previously stated by The Inquisitr, 60 percent of Australian toilet paper is manufactured locally, so the panic-buying was not warranted.
This led to an extreme shortage of the product yesterday and many supermarkets’ shelves were stripped bare. By the day’s end, though, manufacturers were assuring people that new stock was on the way as companies tried to keep up with the demand.
Trucks were being sent out en masse from manufacturers to supermarkets in an effort to get the vital product back on the shelves. In the process, a truck traveling on the Gateway Bridge in Murrarie, Queensland, burst into flames at approximately 10 p.m. on Wednesday, local time.
News.com.au shared footage of the delivery truck in flames.
— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) March 4, 2020
A Queensland Police spokeswoman told the outlet that a “mechanical failure” was the cause of the fire in the B-double truck which was carrying toilet paper along with blue heavy-duty wipes and wood.
As a result of the fire, lengthy delays were encountered until the roadway was cleared by 2 a.m. for northbound traffic.
The driver of the truck escaped uninjured.
For those concerned that this will lead to a continued shortage of toilet paper, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesman Justin Francis reassured the public.
“Toilet paper is quite precious at the moment so we’ve been able to save half the load on this particular truck,” Francis said.
Those concerned about the coronavirus and its impact in Australia can visit the Australia government website for details on the virus. Alternatively, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also offer a comprehensive summary of the situation that they update regularly.