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Gas tanker truck explodes after crash near Boston

SAUGUS, Mass. — A gasoline tanker truck crashed and exploded in a fireball just north of Boston early Saturday, triggering smaller explosions, sending fire streaming down a nearby brook and killing the truck driver, state police said.

Gasoline from the tanker spilled onto Route 1 in Saugus, flowed into a drainage ditch and ignited, carrying flames down a brook that runs near the highway. The floating fire ignited a home and two greenhouse buildings, which were still smoking several hours after the 2:30 a.m. crash on the north side of the highway.

"The whole brook was in flames," said Karen Staskawicz, whose home burned in the fire.

Staskawicz heard a loud crash and several minutes later was warned to get out of her house as the flaming gas ran behind her house and set her porch on fire. About two hours later, her house went up in flames. Staskawicz suspects that gas seeped into the basement and fueled the larger fire.

Four motorists were hurt trying to avoid the crash and gushing fuel, including one who went into surgery for serious burns Saturday morning, authorities said. The three others suffered less severe injuries.

Gas tanker truck explodes after crash near Boston 07/23/11 [Last modified: Saturday, July 23, 2011 9:40pm]

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