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Marine Corps truck explodes, catches fire on Interstate 5 in Oceanside

Posted at 4:51 PM, Sep 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 19:51:00-04

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - A U.S. Marine Corps truck caught fire on northbound Interstate 5 in Oceanside Friday afternoon, backing up traffic on the busy freeway.

Witnesses reported the military vehicle on fire with small explosions about 1 p.m., according to Oceanside Fire Division Chief Pete Lawrence.

Two Marines were in the truck when “they heard a loud bang and immediately saw smoke and fire in the rear of the cab,” Lawrence said. The troops escaped without injury.

As firefighters arrived, they found the cab of the Oshkosh 10-wheel drive Logistic Vehicle System Replacement well involved in flames with a small fire burning in brush near the Oceanside Blvd. offramp, Lawrence said in a news release.

See witness video:

Three lanes of north I-5 were shut down as crews put out the flames and worked to determine no hazardous materials or live ammunition were on board. The closure also contributed to slow traffic westbound 78 near Oceanside, officials said.

The fires in the truck and brush were extinguished within half an hour, Oceanside Fire reported. The truck’s cab was destroyed and the front section of the chassis was damaged with a possible financial impact of $100,000.

“The preliminary fire investigation points to a failure of a power take-off unit which severed the hydraulic line,” Lawrence said. “The explosions reported by callers were caused by several large rubber tires exploding in the heat of the fire.”

Crews cleaned up the resulting hydraulic fluid spill on the freeway two hours after the incident was reported.