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Fuel tanker hit by freight train in fiery Texas crash

DALLAS -- A road tanker carrying more than 8,000 gallons of fuel was hit by a freight train in Wills Point, near Dallas, Texas, early Thursday, causing an explosion.

The tanker was struck by a Union Pacific freight train at state Highway 80 at about 1:15 a.m. local time (2:15 a.m. ET), according to the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff said a train was stopped on the tracks, blocking most of the intersections in town, so the driver of the tanker took a side road to get around it. But the route wasn't designed to handle 18-wheelers and the tanker ended up getting caught on the tracks.

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Just as the tanker got stuck, a Union Pacific train slammed right into it, pushing it along the tracks. Flames erupted soon after the collision.

The tanker driver, two men on the train, a conductor and an engineer escaped without injuries.

Some fuel leaked toward nearby homes, but crews said those home are not in danger of catching on fire. The smoke, however, is a concern and crews are working to evacuate about 50 homes in the area.

Fire departments from across Van Zandt County and Kaufman County are on the scene.

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