Eight killed by huge fireball after truck and oil tanker collide in China
Explosion was compared to atomic bomb blast by one witness after an oil tanker was hit by a truck in east of the country
Eight people – including three generations from one family – were reported dead after a collision between a truck and a petrol tanker caused a firebomb that one witness compared to an atomic bomb in residential area of eastern China.
Police in Yingshang county, Anhui province told local media that the accident happened when the tanker stopped before a traffic light on Thursday and was hit from behind by a coal truck that could not stop in time.
Gas leaking from the tanker ignited, and a video posted on The Beijing News website shows how the flames leapt high into the air and destroyed a nearby three-storey house.
“The fire was like the explosion of an atomic bomb – it was huge. It just ignited within a few minutes.
“There were three residential houses engulfed by fire, and a few houses on the other side were hit by flames,” a man with the surname Min told the newspaper.
He said he was related to six of the victims – two grandparents, their daughter and daughter-in-law and two young grandchildren, the youngest of whom was just a few months old.
The accident also claimed the lives of two motorists – the driver of the truck that hit the tanker and the driver of a cement mixer who was caught up in the flames. Four people were also being treated in hospital for their injuries.
The tanker driver, whose name has not been released, survived the accident and was later detained by police.
The newspaper’s report described how the tanker had been burst open by the accident, adding that one residential building had been “completely destroyed” by fire.
The authorities in Yingshang county have started an investigation into the incident.