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Videos: 18-wheeler explosion sparks 200-foot flames

An ambulance. (Monkey Business Images/Dreamstime/TNS)
December 22, 2023

An 18-wheeler carrying compressed natural gas crashed into a railroad bridge on a highway in Glenville, New York, Thursday night, resulting in a major explosion with flames shooting up to 200 feet in the air.

Video from Thursday night’s incident shows the massive fire that was caused by an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer crashing into the Maple Avenue bridge in Glenville.

According to WNYT, the driver of the 18-wheeler, identified as 60-year-old Sylvester Basil Jr., from Clute, Texas, suffered third-degree burns on his face and hands. Basil was transported to Westchester Medical Center for medical treatment.

The New York Post reported that the massive fire caused power outages in the region and forced multiple people to evacuate their homes.

“It’s a significant explosion,” Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle told WNYT. “It’s by far the worst bridge hit — by far.”

READ MORE: Video: Major explosion rocks D.C. suburb

WNYT reported that Basil was driving from Pennsylvania to an unknown destination roughly an hour north of the Maple Avenue bridge before crashing into the bridge at roughly 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

The New York Post reported that Basil told police officers that he did not see the signs leading up to the bridge that provide warnings to truck drivers regarding the low height of the bridge. Police noted that despite suffering third-degree burns, Basil was able to walk to an ambulance while state and local emergency responders worked to extinguish the fire.

Video also shows a train passing across the bridge as the flames from the 18-wheeler appeared to completely engulf the bridge. However, according to Glenville police Chief Stephen Janik, the train was not damaged in the incident and was not forced to stop despite the major explosion and fire.

Janik told The Daily Gazette that based on “the amount of fire” caused by the 18-wheeler explosion, he expected that the train would have been “engulfed.”

According to The New York Post, officials announced that Maple Avenue would be closed for “an undetermined amount of time while the accident scene is made safe and the investigation can be conducted.”