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

May 28, 2010 | 11:34 am

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