Fuel Tanker Bursts Into Flames

SAN DIEGO — A fuel tanker overturned near Qualcomm Stadium Wednesday, spilling thousands of gallons of fuel, which caught fire and sent a huge plume of black smoke into the sky.

The fire started at about 9 a.m. as a tanker truck was leaving a fuel tank farm near Interstate 15 and Friars Road. The truck was pulling a tanker trailer, which overturned and ruptured as the truck made a left turn onto Friars Road. The trailer erupted in flames and some burning fuel flowed across the road into the parking lot at Qualcomm Stadium.

The driver of the truck escaped without injuries, San Diego Fire Department spokesman Maurice Luque told NBC 7/39. The driver told authorities that he may have been traveling too fast, causing the tanker to roll over.

Authorities closed down Friars and Mission Center roads and brought in 12 fire trucks to prevent the fire from spreading to the tanker truck, Luque said. They were pouring water on the tanker truck to keep it cool and prevent it from exploding, he said.

“The main concern is not to put water on the fire itself,” Luque said. “We’re just going to let that fire burn itself down to a manageable level and smother it.”

Authorities expected the fire to continue burning for some time. Friars Road will remain closed until the cleanup has finished and workers can evaluate possible damage to the roadway, Luque said.

A tall column of black smoke from the blaze could be seen many miles from the fire.

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