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Tanker truck explosion forces closure of 91 Freeway in Corona [Updated]

54002277-28113139 A tanker truck burst into flames and exploded Friday on the 91 Freeway in Corona, prompting the California Highway Patrol to close the freeway in both directions.

The tanker exploded about 10:39 a.m. after an accident involving two other vehicles. TV footage showed a huge fireball burning on the freeway.

Before the explosion, the CHP closed the eastbound Riverside Freeway at Green River Road and the westbound 91 at the 71 Freeway for safety reasons.

Responding CHP officers had been unable to locate the driver of the tanker truck, according to a CHP incident report.

La-me-tanker-crash-g [Updated at 1 p.m.: A Sig Alert was issued and could last up to six hours; officials warned motorists to avoid the route.

The CHP said the driver of the tanker managed to escape the wreck before it exploded, hurling flames as high as 100 feet. The rig was traveling in the westbound lanes of the freeway before plowing through the center divider and flipping over, officials said.

The 91 Freeway was closed between the 71 Freeway and Green River Road in both directions, with traffic backing up into Orange County.]   

-- Richard Winton

Photo: A tanker truck burns on the 91 Freeway. Credit: KTLA

Comments () | Archives (16)

Oil Spills all around!

As if the air quality wasn't bad enough in riverside...

It would be highly recommended for anyone looking to avoid delays to use Metrolink this afternoon. 91 Line, Inland Empire-OC Line, and Riverside Line all are good alternates for Riverside/San Bernardino bound travelers and have numerous departures this afternoon. Freeway is expected to be closed for 6 hours. www.metrolinktrains.com

It will be interesting to learn if the driver of the truck had a valid driver's license.

Should be a fun ride home today

saw it all the way from my house and i live in mira loma and i could smell it on my way to work good luck getting home everybody im sure that the price of a hotel in and around oc not only due to the holiday but also due to this accident.

If you are going through the I-15 SR-91 interchange, stop along the way at a sports bar (or a library if you prefer) , have some dinner, get a drink in a, sit back and watch some sports. You are not getting home early tonight!

Did the guy driving the truck die????

Left Buena Park at 12:45, I had to travel down the I5 to hwy 74 (Ortega Hwy) in Mission Viejo to Lake Elsinore then to Corona. Total time was 1 hr 45 min. Nice drive. Beat the heck out of sitting in traffic. Ususal time for the regular drive through the Santa Ana Canyon is 1 hr for 33 miles.

Guess it will take a couple of hours to get home today!!

anyone know what the name of the truck owner. Southern California should thank them by not buying their products.

So glad my road trip plans for MEMORIAL Weekend were cancelled at the last minute.... or else I'd be so upset! The 91 is the only way out of Orange county for many residents. Maybe we could get a few parallel side streets one of these days? Anyone?

Minimum Required!
Class 1 CA Truck Drivers License with appropirate HAZ Mat endorsement.

Drug & Alcohol Testing

Wow! i heard about this all day today!
Looks like the streets are the way to go. Why did this have to happen Friday?! So many things to do!!!

@coleslaw Im pretty sure you have to go through various tests in order to be a gas tanker driver, do you think they would just let any1 drive those things, maybe he got scared because he caused the accident (what if he was falling asleep).

Oh so sorry you whiners complaining about air pollution and a delayed traffic home. Who cares about the affected civilians right? It wouldn't matter if it was you right next to the exploding tanker right?


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