A semi-truck accidentally rammed into a US military vehicle on the autobahn in Bavaria on Monday, German police said. The driver of the truck involved in the accident was reportedly killed on scene. The US military said there were no injuries “at this time” among US service members, though eight soldiers were brought to the hospital for screening out of an abundance of caution, the 7th Army Training Command spokesman Donald Wrenn said.
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How did the crash occur?
The collision occurred when US military vehicles were in the shoulder lane. The US Army said its personnel were near Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz southeast of Nuremberg on the A3 highway in Bavaria when four of its vehicles pulled off onto the shoulder. The four vehicles pulled off to the side of the road after they were separated from the rest of the larger convoy it was traveling in en route to Grafenwöhr from Hohenfels. Police said this was when a civilian commercial truck smashed into the vehicles from behind, setting the cab of his truck ablaze, according to German news agency dpa. The US Army said three of its vehicles were damaged in the crash. The accident resulted in a multi-vehicle pileup and caused a blaze that set several vehicles alight, sending plumes of smoke into the air, police said.
What happened in the aftermath of the crash?
German tabloid Bild reported the truck was filled with wood chips at the time of the collision, leading to the intense fire. Police noted two of the US Army vehicles were fuel tankers capable of holding 2,500 liters of jet fuel, though fortunately neither ignited, but the fuel did have to be pumped out before rescue work could continue at one point. Police said they tried and failed to pull the driver from the cab of his truck, though it is unlikely he would have survived the collision. The accident resulted in road closures in both directions on the A3. Even hours after the incident, road closures remained between the Parsberg and Velberg junctions on the way to Nuremberg. Based in Grafenwöhr, the US 7th Army Training Command’s Combined Arms Training Center was established in 1948 after World War Two. ar/aw (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)