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LNG Tanker Truck Burns East of Reno, Nearby Evacuations Ordered

The cargo of a tanker truck reported to be carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) caught fire on a stretch of Interstate Highway 80 about 30 miles east of Reno, NV, causing the highway to be shut in both directions and residents and businesses within a one-mile radius evacuated. A pipeline safety engineer from the Nevada Public Utilities Commission was headed to the scene early in the afternoon for a fire that broke out near a truck rest stop about 11 a.m. PDT.

No injuries or deaths were reported. The truck tank reportedly began leaking vapor several hours before the fire erupted from an unknown source.

A spokesperson for Sierra Pacific Resources, the holding company for local combination utility Sierra Pacific Power Co. said the cargo was not connected to its utility operations, which use compressed natural gas (CNG) -- not LNG -- in fleet vehicles.

The incident is taking place near Fernley, NV, at the Truck Inn truck stop at Exit 48 off of I-80. A local television reporter described being in the middle of the major highway about a mile away from where flames were still clearly visible as well as a continuous water spray from the fire personnel at the scene at about 2 p.m. PDT.

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