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Huge explosion erupts after 18-wheeler hits fuel train in Texas

An 18-wheeler truck struck a train carrying chemicals and fuels in Cameron, Texas early Tuesday, causing a massive explosion and igniting a fire that is expected to burn for several days.

The town of 5,400 people in Milam County, about 72 miles northeast of Austin, was rocked by the boom around 6:45 a.m., according to Cameron Sheriff Chris White.

White said the driver of an 18-wheel flatbed truck lost control of his vehicle, was unable to stop, swerved around a parked vehicle and into a railway crossing, where his truck collided with a passing BNSF train.

“No one was injured or killed,” White said.

A barn burned down and several neighboring houses were evacuated, but most people returned to their homes.

The first 11 cars on the train were filled with gasoline, coal and petroleum products, causing the initial explosion this morning and fueling a blaze that was still burning Tuesday night, White told NBC News.

Smoke rises from a fire following an explosion caused by an accident between a train and an 18-wheeler near Cameron, Texas on February 23, 2021.Milam County Sheriff Chris White

A wagon lower in the train filled with a phosphoric acid solution was unhooked and secured before it could be ignited by the burning fuel wagons, and a specialist fire team dispatched from the BNSF arrived with heavy equipment to extinguish the fire.

“A lot of people are working there,” White said Tuesday night. “They say it could take up to two or three days to actually put out all the fire.”

Seven or eight homes in the “very rural area” are affected and those residents could be moved for several days, White said.

Lindsay Mullins, a spokesperson for BNSF, did not immediately respond to an NBC News request for comment.

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