A truck driver hauling ammonium nitrate was killed when his vehicle exploded on a south Arkansas highway in Camden, officials said.
Arkansas State Police say they recovered the remains of Randall McDougal, 63, of El Dorado following the Wednesday morning blast west of Camden, about 100 miles south of Little Rock.
State police said the driver was employed by Blann Trucking Co. of Hampton and the vehicle was carrying ammonium nitrate.
State police say the truck’s brakes caught fire early Wednesday, and witnesses said McDougal left the vehicle to try to extinguish the blaze. Witnesses told police the driver had returned to the truck when it exploded.
The blast created a 15-foot crater in the road, said the Arkansas Department of Transportation.
Ammonium nitrate is a chemical compound, the nitrate salt of the ammonium cation. It has the chemical formula NH4NO3, simplified to N2H4O3. It is a white crystal solid and is highly soluble in water. It is predominantly used in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertilizer. Its other major use is as a component of explosive mixtures used in mining, quarrying, and civil construction.
Ammonium nitrate was the chemical that caught fire and then exploded in the town of West, Texas, killing 15 people.