HYATTSVILLE, Md. (AP) — Four people including a child have died and 12 others have been injured after a van caught fire in a crash with a pickup truck in a Maryland suburb of the nation’s capital on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
Marc Bashoor, chief of the Prince George’s County Fire Department, said via Twitter that three adults and one child were confirmed as fatalities. He said the accident occurred late Sunday afternoon on a road in Hyattsville just northeast of Washington, D.C.
Fire department Spokesman Mark Brady said on television that 12 others, including seven adults and five children, were injured. He added that some of the injuries appeared life-threatening. He cautioned that the numbers could change as the investigation continues.
Brady also said on television that authorities believe that a pickup truck first collided with another vehicle, and then continued forward with a tire on fire when it hit the blue van, which was big enough to hold 15 passengers.
Brady said most of the injuries and fatalities were concentrated in the passenger van.
Brady said the crash was one of the worst scenes he has worked in a 40-year career. And he cautioned that the investigation remains in its early stages.
A police spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment Sunday evening.
Photos taken by people nearby appeared to show flames shooting into the air near the side of the passenger van. The photos showed the van and the pickup truck had halted in what appeared to be the front yard of a single-family home. But the extent of the fire and other damage to the vehicles involved wasn’t immediately known.
A witness told WTTG-TV that she heard the crash from her home, and when she ran out, she saw “just regular people running in and pulling people out of the van.” She said she saw bystanders remove at least four children from the van.
Crews from others counties were aiding in the response.
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