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Overturned gas tanker explodes on highway in Maryland, killing 1 person

Smoke and flames billow from a tanker after it exploded on March 4 on US Route 15 in Maryland, according to Ron Snyder, public information officer for the Maryland State Police (MDSP)./@jam87530075/Twitter

(CNN) — One person died after an overturned gas tanker exploded on a highway in Frederick, Maryland on Saturday, causing damage to nearby homes and vehicles as city officials advised residents to avoid the area.

Flames and smoke billowed into the air after the tanker exploded on US Route 15 in Maryland, according to Ron Snyder, public information officer for Maryland State Police (MDSP).

The driver of the tanker died in the incident, Snyder confirmed to CNN by phone. No other fatalities or injuries were immediately reported, Snyder added.

“Multiple vehicles and homes suffered damage from flames from the fire caused by the overturned tanker,” MDSP said in a tweet.

The highway was closed between Route 50 and 7th Street, according to a tweet from MDSP, which has officers at the scene.

Frederick’s Division of Fire & Rescue Services (DFRS) personnel were also at the scene “of what appears to be a tanker explosion,” Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor said in a Facebook post. The mayor is asking residents to avoid the area.

The state’s Fire Marshal and Department of the Environment were also notified and are responding to the scene, MDSP said. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

“We are providing all available resources to assist with this incident. We will continue to support DFRS as they lead incident control and clean up. I implore all residents to avoid the area to allow DFRS to do their jobs and prevent any fire from spreading,” the mayor said in a statement.