24 May 2004 -- A Romanian minister says 17 people were killed when an overturned truck carrying chemicals exploded at the accident scene today.
The dead included seven fireman, the local chief of police, and two journalists from a television station who were filming the scene. A colonel in the local fire department said they were not aware the truck was carrying flammable material.
Junior Health Minister Aurel Nechita said it is possible the number of deaths will rise because some of the injured are in life-threatening conditions with severe burns.
The traffic accident and explosion happened on a highway in Mihailesti linking the town with Bucharest 70 kilometers to the southwest.
The explosion left a hole 14 meters wide and blew out the windows from 16 houses.