Australia Olympic park fire destroys dozens of cars

A police officer walks next to burnt vehicles following a fire at Sydney's Olympic Park on 14 October 2013
Image caption Eyewitnesses said the cars were "completely gutted"

A fire that broke out at Australia's Olympic park has destroyed or damaged around 80 cars and forced 1,500 people to evacuate the aquatic centre.

More than 50 firefighters were deployed to tackle the fire, which hit the Olympic venue in Sydney on Sunday. No deaths were reported.

Firefighters say the blaze was probably started as a grass fire sparked by a cigarette butt or a car exhaust pipe.

Eyewitnesses said they heard car tyres and petrol tanks exploding in the fire.

"In all my years fighting fires - 42 years - I've never seen a fire move through cars like that," New South Wales Fire Commissioner Greg Mullins said.

"The fire was leaping from car to car, being driven by the wind."

"There is no determined cause at this stage," Mr Mullins added. "It's looking like the most likely cause would be a cigarette butt or maybe a hot car exhaust pipe, but we're just not sure at this stage."

Eyewitness Nicola Tonuri told the Sydney Morning Herald that car tyres were "popping like fireworks" as she and her daughter left the venue.

Another witness told broadcaster ABC that the cars were "completely gutted".

"They had no tyres, they were just sitting on the floor, no paint left, all burnt off, no windows," Andrew, who was only identified by his first name, said.

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