Propane Tanks Explode as Semi-Truck Flips on NYC Expressway

Police say the truck was cut off by another driver, causing the vehicle to flip over and the propane tanks to spill

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An explosion caused by a tanker truck carrying 300 propane tanks forced a New York City expressway to shut down around midnight Tuesday.

Police said black ice on westbound lanes of the Long Island Expressway at Woodhaven Boulevard in Queens may have caused the semi-truck to roll over after the truck was cut off by another driver. The FDNY said that the truck overturned after striking a Jersey barrier, with firefighters who arrived first at the scene finding a heavy fire and and exploding cylinders flying in the air. The impact exploded the propane tanks, which weighed 20 pounds each, leaving the vehicle engulfed flames.

NBC New York's Katherine Creag reports.

The explosion shut down the lanes but workers finished clearing the debris hours later. By the time the flames were put out, most of the cylinders had burned the propane inside, while a hazmat team burned off seven other damaged containers.

Videos posted on Citizen App by witnesses show massive flames and smoke shooting into the sky before first responders were able to put the fire under control.

The truck driver sustained minor injuries and refused medical attention, according to the NYPD.

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