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Raw Video: Ball of Flames Engulfs Tanker Truck Carrying 8,800 Gallons of Gas

"(The driver) heard a loud pop. He looked in his rearview mirror and he noticed that the rear trailer had overturned," a CHP officer said

A huge ball of flames engulfed a gasoline tanker truck on a freeway outside of Los Angeles on Sunday, sending black plumes of smoke into the air that could be seen for miles and causing a traffic nightmare.

The double-tanker truck was hauling 8,800 gallons of gas on the southbound 710 Freeway when it jackknifed near the Florence Avenue exit in Bell and exploded in flames, California Highway Patrol officials said.

Dozens of firefighters arrived just after 3:30 p.m. to battle the huge fire, which could be seen as far as downtown Los Angeles.

Crews managed to extinguish the flames about an hour later. No injuries were immediately reported.

The driver escaped the crash with minor bumps and bruises, fire officials said. A passenger in the truck was also OK.

"(The driver) heard a loud pop. He looked in his rearview mirror and he noticed that the rear trailer had overturned," said CHP Officer Juan Galvan.

Northbound lanes of the 710 Freeway reopened about 9:30 p.m. after an hours-long closure that backed up traffic for miles.

Southbound lanes were expected to remain closed through mid-Monday morning, CHP officials said.

Crews were working to clean up what was left of the charred tanker and Caltrans officials were assessing the severity of the damage to the road.

The cause of the crash was unclear. CHP officials said no other vehicles were involved in the wreck.

NBC4's Kate Larsen contributed to this report.

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