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CAMDEN, Ark. – Remains of an individual suspected to be those of Randall McDougal, 63, of El Dorado, have been recovered from the site of an explosion that occurred earlier today along U.S. Highway 278 west of Camden east of the Nevada – Ouachita county line near Arkansas Highway 57. The Arkansas State Police has requested the human remains to be examined for positive identification by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.
State troopers have learned that McDougal was employed by Blann Trucking Company of Hampton, the owner of the vehicle that was carrying ammonium nitrate from El Dorado to Texarkana.
Area fire department personnel were notified about 6:40 AM today that the truck brakes of the commercial carrier truck believed to be driven by McDougal were on fire and the driver was attempting to extinguish the blaze.
The first fire department personnel on the scene had begun to evacuate residents who live in the area and reportedly witnessed McDougal return to the truck when it exploded.
The roadway remains closed as the result of a large hole caused by the explosion that stretches across the highway.
Release – Arkansas State Police
Sheriff David Norwood and the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department would like to extend our appreciation to everyone that assisted our agency with the horrible disaster on Highway 278 West this morning: Camden Fire and Rescue, Ouachita County EMS, Ouachita County Emergency Management, Ouachita County Judge McAdoo, Stephens Fire Department, Stephens Police Department, Chidester Fire Department, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Forestry Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, Arkansas Department of Transportation, Arkansas State Highway Department, Ouachita Electric, and all others involved not named.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of their lost loved one that resulted from the incident.
Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department
Highway 278 West will remain closed from Highway 376 to Highway 57 until further notice for repairs to the roadway and utilities. The Arkansas State Highways Department is working nonstop to open the roadway as soon as possible. Highway 24/4 Water Department is also working to repair a damaged water main.