Petrol tanker cab arson in Thurrock linked to earlier fire

One of the burnt out cabs in Thurrock
Image caption Fire crews were able to contain the fires to the cabs

Police believe two incidents of arson in Essex, one of which involved three petrol tanker cabs, are connected.

Six vans and three trailers were set alight in Weston Avenue, Thurrock, at 01:45 GMT on Tuesday.

Three cabs connected to petrol tankers were later set on fire in nearby Motherwell Lane at about 22:00 GMT.

Fire crews were able to prevent the fire spreading to the tankers in what police described as a "staggeringly thoughtless" act.

No-one was injured in either incident.

'Close proximity'

The exact causes of both are being investigated and police are checking CCTV footage of the area.

Det Ch Insp Simon Anslow, of Essex Police, said: "At the moment we're approaching them as a linked investigation.

"It seems too coincidental to have two offences in such close proximity within 20 hours of each other."

He added: "The danger they caused by setting [the cabs] on fire is just immense. It's staggeringly thoughtless.

"The tankers were parked up immediately behind and there were other vehicles parked up adjacently.

"Those tankers could have exploded and would have undoubtedly set the ones adjacent to them off and we could have had a major explosion."

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