Natural gas recycling truck explodes in Tampa neighborhood

TAMPA, Fla. — People in a Carrollwood neighborhood rocked out of their homes after a recycling truck exploded in the middle of the street.  

Around 3:45 p.m. people described hearing multiple explosions and then watching smoke fill the sky.

"I saw three explosions and you could feel it on your chest," Art Fyvolent said. "I went and ducked behind a tree just in case."

Jim Blanco was fixing his doorbell as the truck did its usual rounds. Shortly after picking up his recycling just two houses down, the truck started smoking and in seconds was engulfed in flames. 

“The driver had a fire extinguisher but that wasn’t enough to do anything,” said Blanco. 

By the time Blanco pulled out his phone to take photos of the burning truck, the Hillsborough County Fire Department was present to put out the aggressive flames. 

Other neighbors say they could feel the explosion from inside the homes down the street. 

“I heard the first two explosions inside my house. You could feel the house shake," homeowner, Bill Clark recalled about the movie-like explosion just a few feet away. 

“Very random, you would never expect a truck like that would keep burning,” Clark said.  “I’m curious whether or not somebody disposed of something in their recycling that was inappropriate.”

Hillsborough County investigators now working to determine whether this was a mechanical issue or if someone put something flammable in their recycling bin.

Fire officials say the truck runs on natural gas and all four tanks exploded.

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