Footage of a massive explosion on an Italian motorway is making headlines after two trucks collided and a tanker exploded on impact. The explosion shook the Bologna airport and caused a bridge to partially collapse.
Dramatic footage of the explosion made its rounds on social media, showing an enormous fireball in the sky and smoke rising over the airport in the north of the country following the crash. The Italian news agency ANSA reported the truck was carrying liquefied petroleum gas but officials said they could not confirm that.
According to the Daily Mail, officers said the blast could be “felt in the busy terminal and was caused by an accident on the nearby motorway.”
Marco Granna, a spokesman for the local health agency in Bologna, told CNN that 55 people were taken to the hospital for treatment of first-, second- and third-degree burns. At least two of the injured are police officers, the Italian highway patrol told CNN.
A police video shows the tanker plowing into the rear of a truck after failing to brake. Another truck appears to hit the back of the tanker from behind, and within a few minutes the tanker explodes, spanning eight lanes of highway and the parking lot beneath the bridge. Luckily, most of the traffic had cleared away from the incident before the truck exploded.
A woman living a short distance from the blast site said many residents had to leave due to the black smoke, according to CBS.
“I was in the house and I heard a huge bang and screams from the window. I saw a huge plume of smoke,” Crisina Felicani told Sky TG24. “There was panic in the neighborhood, because it wasn’t clear what happened.”
According to the Daily Mail, police have closed off the motorway and the surrounding area while first responders clean up the remnants of the accident. The blaze spread to the parking lot below the bridge, damaging several cars, according to the Daily Mail.
Italian firefighters tweeted that they’ve sent multiple rescue and emergency squads, including one from their urban search and rescue team. Italian private Sky TG24 also reported that some of the injured people had been hit by flying glass when windows in nearby buildings exploded.
“Authorities said the accident closed down a major interchange connecting highways linking northern Italy with the Adriatic coast, a popular destination as Italy heads into next week’s peak summer holiday travel period,” CBS reported.
In a tweet, the national fire brigade said it had deployed a helicopter to help with reconnaissance. Several hours after the explosion, firefighters said they had extinguished the flames, ANSA reported.
ANSA reported a similar incident that happened a short distance away, when a van collided with a truck and overturned, killing 12 farm workers from the Puglia region of Italy. Another accident happened last Saturday when a truck hauling tomatoes crashed into a van and four migrant workers died.
This is a developing story. Heavy will continue to update as more information is known.