Tanker Erupts Into Fireball on Florida Highway


A fuel tanker crashed and caught fire on State Road A1A on Monday night, forcing police to close a portion of the road for hours. The roadway reopened around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The truck’s driver escaped the incident without injury, and no other injuries were reported in the single-vehicle wreck.

Officials said the 8,500-gallon-capacity gasoline tanker was driving southbound and crashed into a pole on the west side of the highway near Shearwater Parkway, around 9:20 p.m.

The incident set off a fire in the rear of the tanker-trailer, said Lt. Jeff Taylor, a spokesman for Brevard County Fire-Rescue.

One witness told Local 6 News partner Florida Today that the flames were at least as high as the tops of the surrounding utility poles.

Florida Power and Light officials reported a power outage affecting about 175 customers for an estimated three hours after the incident.

Witness Brandon Lott said he arrived at the scene moments after it started, but fire officials quickly blocked the public from getting closer.

“They told us to back off, and we did,” he said. “At one point, it appeared pretty big and looked like anything could happen.”

Conventional firefighting forces were joined by a crash truck from Patrick Air Force Base, which applied foam to the burning tanker.

It was not initially known how much fuel was carried aboard the truck when it crashed.

Earlier this year, a similarly sized truck, carrying an estimated 8,000 gallons of gasoline, crashed and exploded at Courtenay Parkway and State Road 528, destroying an overpass and killing its driver and that of a pickup truck.

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