A road combination (tractor and semitrailer) containing 19.38 tonnes of explosives (mainly dynamite in cartridges) exploded around 11:30 pm while stopped on the CD 85 road along the Crouzille pond, 600 m from a junction with the N20 national highway.
The lorry and its cargo were pulverised; only a few scattered debris were found. A 20-m diameter, 6-m deep crater was carved at the site. The surrounding woods were destroyed over a strip 100 m long by 80 m wide. Damages was observed over a 4-km radius encompassing 225 dwellings (roofs destroyed, window panes shattered, etc.). No injuries were reported.
According to the report issued by the Classified Facilities Inspectorate, the heating of the rear axle for an undetermined reason triggered the onset of fire. Flames spread to the cargo tarp, then the wood floor, before causing the load explosion nearly 2 hours after stopping the vehicle due to a loss of pressure in the trailer’s rear tyres.