18-wheeler erupts into flames on I-45 at W. Gulf Bank

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An 18-wheeler burst into flames Friday morning on I-45 near West Gulf Bank, shutting down the freeway for hours. Houston police say seven vehicles were involved.

Houston Transtar cameras captured the moment the semi exploded in front of drivers.

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Fiery 18-wheeler wreck on I-45 North

The truck driver narrowly escaped, thanks to an HPD officer who pulled him out of the burning cab.

Police say it all started when a truck got a flat tire. The slowdown caused a seven car crash.

The 18-wheeler was trying to swerve to avoid the pile up when the driver lost control. The big rig flipped on its side and burst into flames.

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18-wheeler explodes on I-45 North at West Road

The driver was partially ejected and became pinned. That's when the HPD officer risked his life to get the driver to safety.

The driver's friend told ABC13 the driver was doing OK.

"He's lucky to be alive," the man said. "You can see the truck. He's lucky to be alive."

The truck was hauling household trash.

Houston police said all of the injuries are minor. They also said one person involved was believed to be intoxicated.

The accident resulted in the closure of all southbound lanes of the freeway at W. Gulf Bank, including the HOV lane.

All lanes have since reopened.

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SkyEye is over the scene where emergency crews are putting out a big rig fire.

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