Milan city skyline. Wikipedia Commons License.
11 May 2023

Fire in oxygen tanks on a transport truck caused huge explosions in Milan


A van transporting oxygen gas canisters exploded on a street in central Milan on Thursday, injuring one person and setting nearby cars and motorbikes ablaze, local officials said according to Reuters news agency. 

According to eyewitnesses the fire appeared to have spread to a nearby building, which was evacuated. A local school was also evacuated.in the Pier Lombardo area of Porta Romana in central Mian according to international media.

Italian media reports that the explosions after after a van carrying oxygen cylinders caught fire.

The fire is believed to have started in the engine compartment of the truck before it reached the gas cylinders.  A dozen explosions erupted, Milano Today writes.

"The only injured person was the driver of the van carrying oxygen cylinders," explains firefighter Carlo Cardinali. 

"He was on his way to a health facility nearby, a fairly normal phenomenon developed from the start: the van started to burn and the presence of oxygen accelerated the combustion."


Explosions so strong residents thought it was a bomb

According to EuroNews.com, local residents and teachers at the kindergarten say they thought the explosions were bombs, and they had to try and keep the children calm throughout the incident.

"The explosions were so strong we thought it was a bomb," says Barbara Coppola, a teacher at the school which was evacuated. 

Firefighters quickly extinguished the vehicle, which had produced clouds of thick black smoke visible from many areas of the city. 

The rescue service in Lombardy was quickly on the scene with seven fire trucks and worked to limit the spread.

The city's mayor went there and tells local Italian newspaper Milano Today that the driver of the truck was injured: "The driver who is injured is burned, but it is not a life-threatening situation," said mayor Giuseppe Sala.

According to the mayor, any suspicion of foul play has been ruled out. 


Photo Credit: The skyline of Milan in 2016. The photo is not related to the incident. Wikipedia Commons License.