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1 dead after car hits truck carrying military munitions

The Lake County Sheriff's department bomb squad inspects the shell of the munitions truck Thursday morning.
The wreckage of the munitions truck

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Disasters and Accidents
Orlando (Florida)
Military
Road Transportation

(CNN) -- One woman was killed Wednesday night after the SUV she was driving crossed the median of Florida's Turnpike west of Orlando and hit a truck carrying munitions for the military, setting off a large explosion, officials said.

Kim Miller, spokeswoman for the Florida Highway Patrol, said two other young women inside the Ford Explorer were critically injured and taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center.

The driver of the truck carrying the munitions escaped harm, Miller said, despite the crash near Clermont that exploded the rig's gas tank and set off three containers of blasting caps.

Aerial video from local news stations showed debris showered over a wide area of the highway and median, and showed the melted front end of the hired truck and its damaged trailer, which was painted white with yellow flame detailing.

The truck was part of a convoy of vehicles that was hired by the military to transport the material to Eglin Air Force Base near Fort Walton, Miller said.

Authorities have shut down the northbound and southbound lanes of the turnpike for a 15-mile stretch from State Route 50, near Orlando, to U.S. 27 in Lake County.

"The Department of Defense has a team from Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard County on the scene," Miller said late Wednesday. The team will be using heat-sensing equipment to determine the integrity of the remaining four containers of blasting caps before they are moved.

The closure could last anywhere from 4 to 24 hours, she said.

Officials don't know what caused the SUV to cross the median, Miller said.


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