Tanker Truck Explodes; Driver Dead, Residents Evacuated - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Tanker Truck Explodes; Driver Dead, Residents Evacuated

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CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) - An 18-wheeler carrying hazardous chemicals burst into flames after the driver lost control; prompting a forced evacuation of nearby residents in Kingsville.

The accident happened around 1:30 p.m. this afternoon on Highway 77 North. The truck driver was not able to escape the cab and died. Police say the driver of the rig might have suffered a heart attack or some other type of medically-related issue before the crash.

Witnesses say the driver veered off the road twice before slamming into the barrier and then landing in the embankment. The tanker truck was hauling an explosive chemical called methyl methacrylate mollimar.

Officials say the chemical has not yet leaked out of the truck, but have evacuated everyone within about a half mile radius as a precaution.

Residents won't be allowed to return home until the truck has been removed and the area has been cleaned up. 77 will re-open once that takes place, however officials say traffic will be diverted to 77 business for at least another 12 hours.