Fireworks-Filled Van Explodes on 15 Freeway, Snarling Traffic; Driver Flees

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A Nevada traffic camera shows the backup caused by the van explosion on July 2, 2015.

A van stocked with fireworks ignited Thursday afternoon on Interstate 15 near Barstow, sending sparks flying and snarling traffic on the busy freeway connecting Los Angeles and Las Vegas, authorities said.

The Chevrolet box van began burning shortly before 1:30 p.m. on the southbound shoulder of the freeway near Yates Wells Road, about five miles from the California-Nevada border, said California Highway Patrol Officer Ryan Camara.

“The fireworks were exploding inside,” San Bernardino County Fire Department spokeswoman Tracey Martinez said. “The truck burned to the ground.”

All southbound lanes were closed for about an hour as firefighters battled the blaze, backing up traffic into Nevada, authorities said.

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