Truck Driver Dies After Brake Fire Causes Load Of Chemicals To Explode

Camden, Arkansas – A truck driver lost his life on Wednesday after the brakes of his semi-truck caught fire and ignited a load of ammonium nitrate causing the rig to explode.

Arkansas State Police (ASP) said 63-year-0ld truck driver, Randall Mcdougal, of El Dorado, AR, dialed 9-1-1 to report his truck brakes had caught fire at approximately 6:40 a.m. along U.S. Highway 278 west of Camden.

Emergency crews were dispatched and the first responders arrived on scene within minutes, according to ASP. As fire crews were evacuating residents who live in the area, ASP said personnel witnessed Mr. McDougal return to his truck.


As McDougal was near the rig, the load of chemicals exploded killing him and leaving behind a giant 15-foot crater in the middle of the roadway.

“It looks like a bomb went off,” Camden Fire Chief Robert Medford told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “There’s a big hole in the ground on where the truck was at.”



Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Melody Daniel said at least two emergency responders were injured from the blast.

Witnesses said the blast could be felt for miles.

McDougal was employed by Blann Trucking Co. and was hauling ammonium nitrate, a chemical commonly used in fertilizers, from El Dorado to Texarkana.


Arkansas Dept. of Transportation (ARDOT) immediately began filling the massive hole after clearing the accident.



ARDOT expects the roadway to be paved by the end of the day on Thursday.



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