One person died after an overturned gas tanker exploded on a highway in Frederick, Maryland on Saturday, causing possible house fires as city officials advise residents to avoid the area.
Flames and smoke billowed into the air after the tanker exploded on US Route 15 in Maryland, according to Ron Snyder, public information officer for Maryland State Police (MDSP).
The driver of the tanker died in the incident, Snyder confirmed to CNN by phone. No other fatalities or injuries were immediately reported, Snyder added.
The highway was closed between Route 50 and 7th Street, according to a tweet from MDSP, which has officers at the scene.
Frederick’s Division of Fire & Rescue Services (DFRS) personnel were also at the scene “of what appears to be a tanker explosion,” Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor said in a Facebook post. The mayor is asking residents to avoid the area.
The city’s fire department was establishing a media staging area near the scene shortly after the explosion took place.
“We are providing all available resources to assist with this incident. We will continue to support DFRS as they lead incident control and clean up. I implore all residents to avoid the area to allow DFRS to do their jobs and prevent any fire from spreading,” the mayor said in a statement.