A man died after his Tesla Model S crashed into a tree and caught fire, according to Dutch authorities. The exact cause of the accident remains unknown at this point.
The crash happened on a country road near Baarn, a medium-sized town located about 30 miles southeast of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. No other vehicles were involved, and it’s too early to tell whether or not Tesla’s Autopilot software was turned on. However, officers who responded to the accident said that it looks like the Model S was going fast when it veered off the road.
Interestingly, the fire department called the crash a “unique situation,” according to Dutch news station RTL Nieuws. That’s because the car burned for at least 30 minutes after it collided with the tree, and part of the battery pack came loose and itself caught fire down the road from the scene of the crash. Dry powder didn’t put the fire out, so firefighters ended up pouring dirt from the side of the road onto the burning part, Dutch website NOS reports.
First responders weren’t able to get the man’s body out of the car immediately after the crash because they were worried about getting electrocuted. The fire department stresses that it’s familiar with electric cars, but it had never seen one so badly damaged before. Tesla stepped in to explain the best procedure, and the body was finally removed from the wreck several hours after the accident. The driver was traveling alone.
Tesla is aware of the accident and the company will share the results of its investigation with the public as soon as they’re available, according to a statement published by the firm. Stay tuned, as we’ll update this developing story when more news breaks.