Driver dies when load of ammonium nitrate explodes


A truck driver died Wednesday when his truckload of ammonium nitrate exploded after his brakes caught fire while driving in Arkansas.

Randall McDougal, 63, called 911 about 6:40 a.m. to report the brake fire.  Arkansas State Police say McDougal, a driver for Blann Trucking Company of Hampton, Arkansas stopped along U.S. Highway 278.

Three firefighters and a school bus driver were injured by the blast which left a crater 15 feet deep. McDougal had reportedly been attempting to extinguish the blaze when his truck exploded, according to

“The first fire department personnel on the scene had begun to evacuate residents who live in the area and reportedly witnessed McDougal return to the truck when it exploded,” state police said in a press release.

Ammonium nitrate is normally used as an agricultural fertilizer.