LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (WABC) -- An investigation is underway after a truck caught fire and exploded in Long Island City on Wednesday afternoon.
Firefighters responded to a Department of Transportation truck fire at 47th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard shortly after 1 p.m.
While they were on the scene, the truck exploded, prompting nearby stores to evacuate.
An eyewitness named Tom said he and his wife saw it first and then went for a closer look.
"My wife was on a Zoom call, and she smelled smoke," Tom said. "And she looked out the window and all this billowing black smoke was there. And we looked down and saw the car. We went through the door. Down the stairs, there was smoking. As we came out, we saw the fire on the truck, and we ran through a cloud of smoke onto the sidewalk and across the street."
No injuries were reported but witnesses say the force of the blast was incredible.
"Was really bad, really, really bad, black smoke and the smell was really bad," said Hilma Labiw.
Several nearby residents said there is another issue at hand -- their calls to 911 went unanswered and they believe the response to the fire was delayed before the explosion.
The cause of the fire and explosion is under investigation.
The DOT released a statement saying, "Safety of our employees and others is a top priority and we will investigate today's truck fire."