Driver Dead After Car Catches Fire

For MTInvestigators examining a Hyundai Accent on Novinsky Bulvar after a fire in which the driver was killed Monday.
A car burst into flames Monday afternoon in central Moscow, instantly killing the driver and snarling traffic for hours, a police spokesman said.

The Hyundai Accent caught fire in the tunnel on Novinsky Bulvar, near Novy Arbat on the Garden Ring Road, at around 1:30 p.m., the spokesman said.

"The car caught fire because of technical difficulties, though there are some reports now that a propane tank was being carried in the car," the spokesman said, adding that investigators were still trying to establish the exact cause of the fire.

Witnesses said they heard a loud explosion from the rear of the vehicle, jolting the car shortly after it caught on fire, Gazeta.ru reported.

Traffic in the tunnel was halted for about an hour before the car was towed to another location. No one else was injured, the spokesman said.

The body of the driver was so disfigured that investigators were unable to determine the victim's gender for several hours, police officials said Monday evening. It was eventually established that driver was a man.

Foul play had been ruled out in the incident, the police spokesman said.