Threatening flames, black smoke, dangerous explosions, toxins - and fleeing car occupants: After a rear-end collision on Tuesday, several gas bottles exploded on a truck on Autobahn 2 in Jerichower Land. It can currently be assumed that at least two truck drivers are dead, said the Magdeburg Police Inspectorate in the evening. Because there is still a security area around the accident site, the police cannot yet commit it. The salvage work had therefore not yet begun.
The A2 was also blocked in both directions on Tuesday evening – hours after the accident. The police advised driving around the area and using the B246a. Drivers had to be evacuated after the serious accident or got themselves to safety because they were in danger from flying material. A truck driver was slightly injured, the police said.
According to the current status of the investigations and witness statements, the driver of a dangerous goods transporter is said to have overlooked the end of the traffic jam in front of a construction site between Theeßen and Burg and drove up. "He pushed three other trucks into each other," it said. A fifth truck driver drove into the scene of the accident.
The dangerous goods transporter was loaded with high-pressure containers filled with nitrous oxide - i.e. laughing gas. A fire quickly developed as a result of the collision. The flames would have spread from the driven truck to the dangerous goods transport. Toxic substances were released, so a restricted radius of 650 meters around the scene of the accident was necessary. This made it difficult for rescue workers to deploy.
On a video of an eyewitness it can be seen that after the accident there were several loud explosions in quick succession on the edge of the road and fire. Parts flying around burned partly. Thick smoke rose. Motorists fled the scene of the accident. An eyewitness said: "The street - it was shaking. It was like an earthquake. And we just said, 'Run to the back and get to safety. Leave the car.""
The district of Jerichower Land has meanwhile issued a warning that residents within a two-kilometer radius in the affected communities of Burg, Möser and Möckern should keep their windows and doors closed and turn off the ventilation and air conditioning systems. In the evening, the district lifted the warning.