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Gas Leak in truck accident forces evacuation, road closure in Gansu
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A gas leak caused by a truck accident forced 185 villagers to evacuate and shut down a highway in northwest China's Gansu Province, local government sources said on Wednesday.


The accident happened around 7:45 a.m. on Tuesday in Qingquan Township, Yumen City, when a truck carrying 21 tons of natural gas veered off the highway and subsided into a four-meter-deep roadside ditch.


The driver and another person in the truck were killed. Firefighters extinguished a blaze caused by the truck's oil tank.


Officials evacuated 185 residents from a village about 100 meters from the accident and closed a section of the highway from Yumen to Jiayuguan City, which lies to the west.


Chen Tianqi, vice mayor of Yumen, who headed the rescue effort, said the accident was caused by driver fatigue.


Chen said the wreck had been transported to safer ground to let out the remaining gas, and normal traffic would resume on Wednesday night.


The truck was owned by a transportation company in Miquan City, in central-north Xinjiang.


(Xinhua News Agency November 22, 2007)

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