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September 13, 2012

Truck carrying used cars explodes on highway

A tractor-trailer entering State Road 112 from Okeechobee Road caught fire, destroying all nine used cars on its trailer. The driver was not injured.

A tractor trailer transporting used cars exploded into flames on State Road 112 Thursday morning, closing the area for several hours.

Miami Dade Fire Rescue arrived just before 2 a.m. to the burning truck on the eastbound entrance ramp from Okeechobee Road onto 112, also known as the Airport Expressway.

“When we arrived, the tractor was fully engulfed with four of the vehicles, which quickly spread to the rear,” Capt. Andy Alvarez said.

Alvarez described the response as a “defensive attack” due to the size of the fire. The magnesium material in the used cars was the most dangerous part, he said, because when it comes into contact with water, it creates an “explosion type reaction.”

The driver was not injured, but all nine cars on the trailer were “a complete loss,” said Sgt. Tom Pikul of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the fire, which they deemed to be accidental. Pikul said it looked like the tires locked up and sparked the fire.

SR-112 was closed for several hours while firefighters fought the blaze, but the road was undamaged and reopened before morning rush hour on Thursday.

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