UPDATE: In a press release, Arkansas State Police said the remains of the individual recovered from the site of the accident are suspected to be those of Randall McDougal, 63, of Eldorado., Ark. State troopers have learned McDougal was employed by Blann Trucking Company of Hampton, the owner of the vehicle that was carrying ammonium nitrate from El Dorado to Texarkana. But identification is still tentative until confirmed by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.
One person has died in a truck explosion, says the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.
It happened Wednesday morning along Hwy. 278. People in El Dorado (about 35 miles away) reported feeling the blast, which was reported to have been felt in a 60-mile radius.
Officials tell us the truck was carrying ammonium nitrate, which is a toxic chemical. The
carrier vehicle was a tanker not a hopper. (A hopper car or hopper wagon is a type of railroad freight car used to transport loose bulk commodities such as coal, ore, grain, and track ballast).
Two-hundred to 300 yards of forest caught on fire around the explosion site.
According to ProMed Ambulance, HazMat crews expanded the perimeter around the scene. The highway was expected to be closed 4-5 hours at a minimum and traffic is being detoured to another area..
There were only minor injuries to those in the immediate area.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation is on the scene of a vehicle fire between Rosston and Camden.
Ouachita Co: U.S. Highway 278 will remain closed until further notice. This morning’s accident left about a 15-foot deep crater in the road. Once the accident has been cleared, our crews will begin to repair the highway. Updates as they are available. #ARnews #ARtraffic #ARleg pic.twitter.com/O6DIXGjPnk— Arkansas DOT (@myARDOT) March 27, 2019
Officials say an ammonium nitrate tanker exploded Wednesday morning on Highway 278.
Arkansas State Police are working the scene.
A 1/2 mile radius is cordoned off. US highway 278 west has been shut down between AR highway 376 and AR highway 57.