An out-of-control semi-trailer has careered through the main street of Singleton in the NSW Hunter Valley, leaving a trail of destruction as it crashed into cars and buildings.
The allegedly stolen truck erupted into flames as it crashed on George Street on Wednesday morning after taking out several cars and damaging buildings including the Royal Hotel and an antique store.
At least one person has been critically injured, authorities say.
The licensee of the Horse and Jockey Hotel described the aftermath as "absolute carnage".
"I could hear the (truck) and brakes screeching and just crash after crash after crash," Daniel Storey told AAP.
"He was going at least 100km/h ... some cars have been taken out by the truck.
"He's caused it all. When he crashed, he got out of his truck, and tried to get into another truck."
The semi-trailer was allegedly stolen from a service station at Murrurundi around 7.30am on Wednesday and was driving erratically along the New England Highway.
Police deployed road spikes as it approached the township of Singleton with the driver continuing into the town's main strip of George Street.
The driver has been arrested and a critical incident investigation has been launched.
Several people are injured, including a 67-year-old man with head and chest injuries, and a woman in her 60s, both of whom have been airlifted to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle.
NSW Ambulance says one person is in a critical condition, one has serious injuries, while multiple patients have less serious injuries.
A second rescue helicopter was summoned from Sydney.
Photos on social media show a huge plume of black smoke and burning cars at the scene. The New England Highway is closed at Singleton.