August 10, 2005

Truck carrying explosives crashes in Utah, 9 hurt

SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - A truck loaded with 38,000
pounds of explosives tipped over on a steep canyon road, caught
fire and exploded on Wednesday, injuring nine people and
blasting an enormous crater in the road.

According to the Utah Highway Patrol the truck had just
left an explosives manufacturing plant at the mouth of Spanish
Fork Canyon along Highway 6 when it was involved in a traffic
accident and rolled over.

The truck burned for about fifteen minutes and then
detonated with enough force to create a road crater 30 feet
deep and 75 feet wide, police said. The explosives were to be
used in mining and construction.

Medical helicopters and ambulances took nine people to
nearby hospitals for treatment of burns and injuries from
flying debris.

The explosion caused several brush fires in the canyon and
damaged railroad tracks that run parallel to the highway. There
were also reports of trucks and cars having their windows blown
out from the force of the blast.

Highway 6 is heavily traveled as a connecting road between
Interstate 15 and Interstate 70. The Utah Highway Patrol
estimated that the road would be closed for two to three days
while repairs were made.