Lucky escape for driver as fuel tanker explodes

A driver has escaped injury after his road train carrying unleaded fuel into flood-affected parts of Queensland exploded, melting bitumen.

The driver realised his truck had caught fire, before the trailer with 97,000 litres of fuel exploded about 5.30am on Monday on the Landsborough Highway, west of Barcaldine.

The heat of the explosion melted the bitumen so the highway will be closed until evening while it is repaired.

"The cabin and the first trailer have been completely destroyed," police said.

The clean-up is expected to take some time, with parts of the truck fused to the bitumen.

The road train was carrying three trailers.

Two were not damaged by the explosion.

Their fuel loads were transferred to another vehicle.

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