Fuel tanker erupts into massive fireball after crashing on highway

Tanker explodes on the road near Bologna airport

Tanker explodes on the road near Bologna airport

A road accident caused a large explosion and a fire near Bologna airport in northern Italy on Monday, police said, and local media reported some people had been injured.

Police closed the highway and the surrounding area of Borgo Panigale.

Video on social media showed the tanker bursting into a enormous mushroom cloud of orange flames and a thick plume of black smoke pouring into the sky. No further details were immediately available.

Italian prosecutors said the tanker was filled with liquefied petroleum gas, otherwise known as propane, used as a fuel in heaters, cooking equipment and vehicles.

At least two were killed and another 56 people injured - 14 of them seriously - when the explosion tore through Borgo Panigale with enough force to shake nearby houses, reports claim.

Fire in Bologna
Fire raging on the motorway outside Bologna

Thick black smoke was seen rising up in the air from miles away from the site of the blast. Aerial photos showed a gaping hole in the raised highway next to the tanker.

A lorry carrying cars reportedly collided with a tanker containing flammable materials.

Residents living on the other side of Bologna said they heard the blast.

Firefighters said the flames were extinguished several hours after the explosion, ANSA reported.

At least two of the injured are police officers, the Italian highway patrol told CNN.

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