Nineteen people were killed and more than 170 injured when a tanker truck exploded on a highway in eastern China, local authorities said. The force of the blast on Saturday afternoon caused nearby homes and factories to collapse, and sent huge clouds of black smoke billowing into the air as flames engulfed several cars. Dramatic video footage of the accident in the eastern province of Zhejiang showed a ball of fire shooting into the air as people screamed. In one clip, a large piece of debris is seen flying into the air before crashing onto nearby buildings. Another video showed the remains of the tanker and several truck tyres smashed into a building, which had been reduced to rubble. Local authorities said the truck was loaded with liquefied gas. State news agency Xinhua reported Sunday that there was a second blast when the truck fell onto a workshop near the expressway after the first explosion. Emergency responders were still conducting search and rescue operations, it added. Deadly road accidents are common in China, where traffic regulations are often flouted or not enforced. Last year, at least 36 people died and 36 others were hurt in eastern China when a packed coach with a flat tyre collided with a truck.
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