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A hiker has been hailed a hero after he rescued a driver from his burning car armed only with his Swiss Army penknife.

Quick thinking Rudi Leonardy, 73, watched the car spin off the road in Hemmendorf, Germany. It hit a crash barrier, then a tree before flipping over several times and landing on its roof in a ditch and catching fire.

Leonardy then ran to help when he saw it burst into flames.

"I didn't have much time and the driver was trapped by his seat belt," said Rudi.

"Then I remembered my penknife which I've had in my pocket for 40 years. It sliced through the harness and I was able to pull him out before the petrol tank went up," he added.

A local fire service spokesman said: "He was very brave. Thanks to his quick thinking and swift action that driver is alive."

The 38-year-old driver was taken to hospital where he is recovering from his injuries.

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