HOWARD, Wis. (WFRV) A truck explosion in Howard this afternoon left one man dead and another critically injured. The blast happened within the Howard Industrial Park early this afternoon and was felt a half-mile away.
Brown County Sheriff says 59-year-old Gerald Throw from Sobieski was driving the truck and was killed. The passenger, 29-year-old Jose Perez was transferred to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
These are images of the aftermath of that explosion, some sent into Local 5 News by our viewers. The box truck we are told was outfitted with a compressed natural gas fuel system and was carrying a load of heavy equipment.
According to police around 1:30 this afternoon, the truck was transporting products between two Ace warehouses located on Pamperin Road, when this happened.
"The truck slowed to turn into a driveway - the load shifted inside - and that compromised the natural gas system on the truck," according to Howard's Public Safety Director, Ed Janke. "The fuel system detonated and that resulted in one injury and one known fatality at this time."
Ace Manufacturing released this statement this afternoon saying, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the truck driver who lost his life in this accident, as well as another worker who was injured. We are a small and close-knit company and this has shaken and saddened all of us."
The Brown County Sheriff's Office has not yet released the names of these two men. For most of the afternoon Pamperin Road, between Velp Avenue and Cornell Road, was closed to traffic.
Authorities tell us the male driver was pronounced dead at the scene. A male passenger was reportedly thrown from the truck and transported to an area hospital with critical injuries.
A number of businesses were either evacuated or asked to take cover in a safe area while rescue crews addressed leaking fuels and removed the injured passenger. Howard Fire and Brown County Hazmat Teams secured the area so a Reconstruction Team could start to document the scene.
Pamperin Rd. between Velp Ave. and Cornell Road will remain closed for several hours while the investigation continues.
Local 5 has a crew on the scene, we'll bring you the latest information as it becomes available.