More than 100 firefighters were battling this fire in an industrial area northwest of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Two people were badly burned when an oil tanker exploded in an industrial area northwest of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Air and ground travel in the immediate area were also impacted.
Phoenix fire officials said two people were taken to Maricopa County Medical Center Burn Unit with severe burns after the explosion at 203 S. 23rd St.
A 45-year-old man suffered third-degree burns to 15 percent of his body. He is awake, alert and talking to investigators. A 23-year-old man suffered third-degree burns to 50 percent of his body, doctors said Tuesday afternoon. He is being kept in a medically induced coma for as long as two weeks, physicians said.
Fire officials said a 40,000-gallon rail car tanker exploded about 7 a.m. and that about 70,000 gallons of used automotive oil were involved. Multiple tanks were reported on fire.
The fire closed 24th Street from Buckeye Road to Washington Street.
The Jefferson Street light rail track was closed and Valley Metro was using Washington Street for both east and westbound travel, said Hillary Foose of Valley Metro.
The station platforms at 24th Street were also closed but passengers were boarding and deboarding from neighboring stations at 12th and 38th streets. The incident also affected light rail travel in the area, Foose said.
Because of the single tracking on Washington Street, Valley Metro said passengers should expect delays of 15 to 20 minutes, Foose said.
A Phoenix Sky Harbor notification said all runways remained open and flights were taking off and landing on schedule. The airport suggested passengers arriving and departing by ground were told to avoid 24th and Washington Street.
More than 100 firefighters from Phoenix and Tempe were on the scene and more were en route from Peoria and Glendale.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.