A truck driver was killed today in rural Arkansas when his rig, full of ammonium nitrate, exploded after his brakes caught fire.
Two first responders were injured by the blast which blew out nearby windows and was felt up to 100 miles away.
Randall McDougal, 63, had called 911 about 6:40 a.m. this morning to report the brake fire on his truck, according to Arkansas State Police. He stopped along U.S. Highway 278 west of Camden and roughly 100 miles south of Little Rock with fire personnel close behind.
“The first fire department personnel on the scene had begun to evacuate residents who live in the area and reportedly witnessed McDougal return to the truck when it exploded,” state police wrote in a press release.
McDougal had reportedly been attempting to extinguish the blaze when his truck exploded, according to kait8.com. Two nearby firefighters were injured by the blast. A section of the highway where the truck had been parked was devastated by the explosion. Massive chunks of asphalt could be seen in photos nearby where the road had once been. The blast created a 15-foot deep crater. Windows on nearby homes were blown out and the shockwaves were felt up to 100 miles away.
McDougal had worked for Blann Trucking Company of Hampton, Ark.