Mother and son survive 10 days lost in Australia's Hunter Valley

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The alleged driver of the truck, which was carrying compost, is now in police custody, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

A 67-year-old man remains in John Hunter Hospital in a serious condition.

A man has faced court on a string of charges after a "stolen" fertiliser truck crashed into a building at Singleton in the Hunter Valley, sparking explosions and a major rescue operation.

"The indicators were fresh so there was real hope we would find these people", Ambulance NSW Inspector Andrew Steenson told the Seven Network.

He was refused bail and is expected before Singleton Local Court today.

A critical incident team from Port Stephens Local Area Command is investigating all circumstances surrounding the incident.

Police had received reports earlier on Wednesday that a semi-trailer was stolen from a petrol station in Murrurundi, north of Singleton, while the driver was paying for fuel about 7.30am.

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Police said the truck was sighted driving erratically south along the highway, through Muswellbrook and towards Singleton.

Police are examining if mental illness suffered by Rodney Johnson played a role.

As the truck approached Singleton, officers deployed road spikes to stop the vehicle.

An emergency situation is unfolding in Singleton where a semi-trailer has burst into flames after hitting several vehicles and the Royal Hotel. A witness told Nine News he saw a plume of black smoke.

NSW Police Inspector Joanne Schultz said it was incredible they'd survived in the remote and rugged landscape.

Details about the miraculous survival of a mother and her nine-year-old son, who became lost in bushland for 10 days, have been revealed. Three are being taken to hospital.

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