Boston – A gasoline tanker truck exploded in flames as it crashed just north of Boston early Saturday, setting three nearby buildings ablaze and leaving the truck driver dead and four motorists injured, state police said.
Fuel from the truck spilled onto the U.S. 1 near Saugus in the 2:30 a.m. crash and flowed into a drainage ditch before going up in flames. State police spokesman David Procopio said two greenhouse buildings and a private home caught fire.
"It was sort of a secondary ignition," he told The Associated Press.
Drivers in six other vehicles became involved in the crash or hit each other as they attempted to avoid the accident.
Four people in the vehicles were hospitalized but there was no immediate word on their condition.
Procopio said it still isn't clear what cause the initial crash, but the tanker slammed into the median, rolled over and went up in flames.
"It set off a fireball several feet high," he said.
Two buildings in the greenhouse compound were extensively damaged by flames and a private home had less damage, Procopio said. There were no reports of any injuries in those fires.
Some homes were evacuated but police did not give a number. Firefighters had put out the blazes within three hours of the crash.
Police were checking if a bridge near the scene sustained serious structural damage.
The roadway, about 10 miles north of downtown Boston was closed, but police expected to reopen it by 7 a.m. EDT.
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