It's like a scene from a Fast & Furious film, only it's terrifyingly real: dash cam footage captures a fiery inferno that enveloped several vehicles on a freeway in China after a tanker truck got into an accident and spilled liquified petroleum gas all over the road surface. According to The Mirror, the tanker driver suffered burns over 50 percent of his body in the accident, but the seven people in three cars all were able to emerge to safety with just some minor injuries.
The explosion took place on the Beijing-Harbin expressway in northeastern China. In the dash cam video you can see the tanker on the right shoulder, leaking the fuel — a mostly odorless mixture of highly flammable propane and butane. A small blue car — it appears to be a Mazda CX-4, based on a visible door logo — then swerves out of the right-hand lane and onto the shoulder, but instead manages to ignite the fuel in a conflagration that invokes a huge stovetop burner lighting.
The flames immediately engulf the car and spread to a white sedan in the left lane, where the driver briefly opens the door but closes it as the flames close in. The driver of the car that captured the footage immediately throws it into reverse to flee as the flames spread along the side of the road, engulfing vegetation, as what sounds like a small child in the backseat can be heard crying in fear. At one point, you can see the driver of the blue Mazda get out after the flames die down and start running away from the scene.
It's not clear what exactly caused the fuel, which quickly evaporates as a liquid but remains as a large cloud of gas, since it's heavier than air, to ignite. The blue Mazda could have thrown a spark or caused excess friction from the tires.