The truck was carrying a 60 metre long reactor which was being transported to Russia to produce fertilizer. The first stage of its journey was from Steinhaus bei Wels to the port of Linz.
After travelling about eight miles on the Pyhrnpassstrasse (B138), the 350 tonne transporter truck burst into flames just before the entrance to the A1 motorway.
Erwin Scheinmayr, who was accompanying the transporter in a separate vehicle, told the ORF that “everything happened very quickly”. The driver of the truck realised that the turbocharger was broken, and as a result, oil was dripping onto the hot engine, which then caught fire. There were several explosions.
It was a particularly dangerous situation as the transporter was loaded with an entire tank of hydraulic oil, as well as hundreds of liters of fuel.
The transporter was being towed by one truck, and was attached to another which was pushing it. Both drivers were able to detach their trucks and move to safety. The drivers alerted emergency services and the fire brigade used water cannons to put the flames out.
The reactor was undamaged and pending approval will be transported on Tuesday evening via a new transporter to the Port of Linz, and from there on to Russia.
The B138 was closed between Sattledt and Steinhaus bei Wels for about five hours.