2 die when tanker explodes near Belle Plaine

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By Tracy McCue, Sumner NewsCow
November 5, 2012 - 12:41:47 pm

Two people died Saturday afternoon when a tanker truck hauling fuel exploded on the Kansas Turnpike just north of the Belle Plaine rest stop.

Around 3:12 p.m., the driver of the 2012 International semi-truck hit a concrete guard rail on a bridge while traveling northbound. The truck then skidded into the ditch, went through a fence, rolled and came to a stop, according to the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

The tanker then caught fire, and exploded at 3:19 p.m. about seven minutes later.

The two victims, who are from Oklahoma, have not been publicly identified by KTA authorities until next of kin has been contacted.

Traffic was delayed on the turnpike for a short period of time because law enforcement worried there would be an explosion. No other people were injured.

It is unknown why the driver hit the bridge guardrail.

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