A truck carrying flammable and combustible materials which was not properly licensed exploded on a highway in Hunan yesterday evening, killing five and injuring a further 24.
According to NetEase, the incident took place on the Hunan stretch of highway which connects Beijing with Hong Kong and Macau at around 8:40 p.m. on March 19.
Recent reports indicate that the owner of the truck was not licensed for hauling dangerous goods, suggesting that improper storage could be the cause of the incident.
“There was a huge blast. I couldn’t see anything when it happened,” said one eyewitness. “There were many vehicles lining up and the truck exploded in the middle of the line, in the carriageway. At first, there was a big fireball. Then I saw the vehicles were blasted away.”
Two cars and two trucks were also caught in the fireball and burned after the explosion took place. Several other vehicles also sustained damage.
In 2012 a similar incident took place in Hunan when an LPG container truck flipped over and caught fire, eventually causing an explosion which killed three firefighters who had arrived to tackle the blaze.