At least one person died and more than 40 others were injured Monday after a tanker truck exploded creating a fireball on a motorway just outside the northern Italian city of Bologna, the fire service said.
The blast that engulfed the area with flames and black smoke and caused a bridge to partially collapse occurred near Borgo Paginale to the west of the city, close to Bologna airport, the Italian fire service said on Twitter.
Italian media has reported that many of the injured were hit by debris and shattered glass following the explosion.
Firefighters have since put out the blaze, a fire service spokesman told AFP, adding that efforts were under way to ascertain the cause of the explosion and the precise number of victims.
A video published on Twitter by the fire service shows a huge column of black smoke billowing from the wreckage of the truck on the city's ring road.
Images released earlier by the fire service showed burning cars in an adjacent carpark.
One video filmed by a motorist circulating on Twitter shows the moment the tanker exploded, when a black plume of smoke was suddenly swept away by a powerful ball of flame that takes over the entire horizon.
Firefighters work at the scene where a tanker truck exploded on a motorway just outside Bologna, northern Italy, on August 6, 2018
Handout picture taken from an helicopter and released by the Vigili del Fuoco (the Italian fire service) shows smoke rising after a tanker truck exploded on the motorway close to the airport in Bologna