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Truck Carrying Gasoline Explodes In Atwater, Killing Driver

ATWATER (AP/CBS SF) -- A truck driver is dead after a series of fiery explosions on a Central California highway, when his truck burst into flames as it was delivering gasoline.

California Fire division chief Mark Lawson told the Modesto Bee that the truck was carrying about 9,000 gallons of gasoline when it caught fire Tuesday morning along Highway 99 at the city of Atwater.

Witnesses described waves of flame rolling down the highway, and explosions sending people running from roadside fast-food restaurants.

The California Highway Patrol says the body of the truck driver was found later. His name was not released.

Lawson says authorities fear spilled fuel may also make its way into drinking water.

Officials have reopened that stretch of Highway 99, but several businesses remain closed as authorities check for gas leaks and other damage.

Video of the explosion shows flames rising high into the air and black smoke covering the blue sky.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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