Quebec provincial police are investigating after a tanker truck carrying gasoline exploded on Sunday near Charlemagne, Que., killing the driver and injuring others. 

The incident happened at about 3:45 p.m. ET, when the truck lost control on the curve going from Highway 640 to Highway 40, east of Montreal.

The truck was carrying 45,000 litres of gasoline at the time.

The driver, who has not been identified, had been with GHL Transport for the last three years and had a good record. 

He had just started his shift and was headed for La Plaine in the Lower Laurentians at the time of the crash.

Both highways have been reopened to traffic. 

The explosion created thick black plumes of smoke that could be seen for kilometres. 

A passenger van was also destroyed in the fire and two people suffered minor injuries. 

'The whole highway was on fire'

Angelo Romano, who lives across from the highway, said he heard and felt the explosion from inside his condo.

"I hear a big bang, so I didn't really pay attention, but the second bang I felt the building shake," he said. 

"The whole highway was on fire. It was incredible to see."

Firefighters were finally able to approach the fire and control the flames about an hour after the incident. 

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A van was also involved in Sunday's explosion on a Quebec highway that killed the driver of a tanker truck and injured two people. (Benoit Fortin)

Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Gregory Gomez del Prado said it's not clear what caused the truck to lose control. 

"It's still under investigation. We're trying to determine — was it speeding, was it something else?" he said. 

SQ spokesperson Audrey-Anne Bilodeau told CBC News that one thing they're looking at is the driver's health.

"Did he have heart disease? He could have been dead before the explosion. Nothing is impossible right now," she said.


Firefighters at the aftermath of the tractor trailer explosion, which also destroyed a passenger van. (CBC)