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'We ran to drag woman from flame filled car'

PUBLISHED: 17:29 10 March 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 23 August 2010

PROPERTY: The Fabian family home

PROPERTY: The Fabian family home

A COUPLE have told of the moment they rescued a pregnant woman from a car moments after it exploded, writes Nick Hitchens. Rickie and Julie Durnall have spoken exclusively to the Reporter about the moments before and after Victoria Fabian s Mazda explode

A COUPLE have told of the moment they rescued a pregnant woman from a car moments after it exploded, writes Nick Hitchens.

Rickie and Julie Durnall have spoken exclusively to the Reporter about the moments before and after Victoria Fabian's Mazda exploded last Friday in High View, Vigo.

The husband and wife, who live just metres from the incident, were the first on the scene and dragged the pregnant mother-of-two as well as her eight-year-old, who was also in the car, to safety, moments before a second explosion engulfed the car in flames.

Mrs Durnall, 43, said: "She was trapped in the car. I called my husband and he had to help the woman out of the car as quickly as possible because you could see the smoke.

"Others ran out to make sure she was ok. Her legs were all bloodied and covered in bits of shrapnel - it was awful."

Mrs Fabian was taken by air ambulance to Darent Valley Hospital and later to a specialist unit in London

Mr Durnall, 46, explained how he had seen the flames lapping around her legs as he dragged her from the car.

He added: "I ran up and just dragged her to safety. Flames were coming up through the front of the car, the front of the seating well.

"Thank God the little boy had no injuries. I honestly think anyone would have reacted the same. It was just instinct to get her out."

The incident took place at 1.10pm in the village. Andy Hatton, who lives in nearby Ferndale, was quickly on the scene.

He said: "I heard a gigantic explosion as I was standing in my kitchen, it sounded like someone had thrown something really heavy into a skip.

"Another explosion followed so I jumped in my car and drove up to see the woman lying on the floor. There was blood everywhere. It was just horrendous."

Other neighbours described how their windows shook with the force of the explosion.

After the explosion, police closed the road and evacuated 40 homes in the street while forensic experts examined the scene.

Working with members of Gravesham Borough Council officers and the Salvation Army emergency unit, police moved residents to the village hall, where they were kept until around 10pm that night.

Mrs Fabian is currently receiving specialist treatment in London for serious leg injuries. Her son was taken to hospital as a precaution and it is not believed that her unborn child was harmed. Nicholas Fabian, 32, of Highview, Vigo, appeared at Dartford Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with attempting to murder his pregnant wife and her eight-year-old son.

He is charged with two counts of attempted murder and unlawful possession of section one ammunition. He is due to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on March 22.

nick.hitchens@archant.co.uk

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