A fuel tanker truck driver lost his life after crashing into parked train cars containing liquid asphalt on U.S. Highway 30 in northern Portland, Oregon yesterday, causing an explosion that burned eight of the train cars.
Truck Crash Sparks Explosion and Intense Fire
The crash happened just before 9 a.m. yesterday south of the St. Johns Bridge. According to a representative from Portland Fire & Rescue, the tanker truck left the road and crashed into the parked train cars on a side track owned by Portland & Western Railroad, causing fuel to leak beneath them. The fuel then exploded and caught fire, burning eight of the train cars, but officials say that none of the liquid asphalt leaked out. On-site reports said that the flames were 70 feet tall and heavy plumes of black smoke filled the air.
The highway was closed and nearby businesses were evacuated.
Firefighters were able to get the fire extinguished by 11 a.m.
St. Johns Bridge and Highway 30 were both closed for hours, causing major traffic backups.
Authorities Say the Investigation Into the Cause of the Crash Is Just Beginning
Police are still investigating the incident to try to determine why the truck crashed.
The identity of the truck driver involved has not been released.
No one else was injured during the crash.