6 hospitalized after explosion, 4-alarm fire at north Charlotte trucking company

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Robert Young was at work at Wilson Trucking Company early Wednesday morning when he heard an explosion and turned around to see flames pouring from the loading dock.

"It felt like I was in a movie it was unreal. Two or three explosions behind another. People just started running everywhere. I had never seen anything like it before,” Young told Channel 9.

Emergency crews said several people were hurt after a 4-alarm fire at a north Charlotte trucking company early Wednesday morning.

Fire, police and MEDIC were called to the 7500 block of Statesville Road, at Wilson Trucking Corporation, just before 6 a.m. after being told of an explosion and fire on the loading dock.

When crews arrived they saw heavy flames and smoke coming from the loading dock area.

Eyewitness News first showed you the dozens of firefighters working to put out the flames on "Daybreak" Wednesday. It ended up taking about 90 firefighters roughly two hours to control the fire.

MEDIC said they rushed five people to Carolinas Medical Center -- one with serious injuries, two with potentially life-threatening injuries and two with minor injuries.

Four people were still at Carolinas Medical Center for treatment Wednesday afternoon. Two are in fair in condition; two are in good condition.

Witnesses told Channel 9 that they saw several people who were examined at the scene.

“I’m glad most of the people are OK,” employee Tony Caldwell said.

As of Wednesday evening, Charlotte fire representatives had not said what exploded or what started the fire. Workers told Channel 9 there are hazards in the building.

“We (have) got propane tanks and a couple of gas powered lifts. We [have] got fireworks there. All kinds of HAZMAT chemicals in there. We ship a lot of stuff (and) there's really no telling what's on the dock at anytime,” Young said.

Fire Chief Jon Hannan said the way the loading dock is built may have helped the fire spread.

“It’s completely open inside. There are trailers backed in on both sides. There’s no wall ... nothing to stop (the fire) from going from one side to the other,” he said.

The emergency response to the four-alarm fire shut down Statesville Road and caused a traffic nightmare during the morning rush hour.

An employee told Eyewitness News anchor Liz Foster that operations were temporarily shut down.

Officials said Statesville Road was shut down in both directions from Lakeview Road to Sunset Road.

Channel 9 reporter Gina Esposito said that traffic was a nightmare north of the scene along Statesville Road.

The road reopened around 9 a.m.

It took nearly 90 firefighters roughly two hours to get the flames under control.

The estimated property damage was $1.5 million.

The cause is under investigation.

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