At least 20 people are dead and dozens are injured after a gas tanker exploded on a highway in a suburb north of Mexico City.  Eight children were among the dead and officials warned the death toll could still rise.

The fireball in Ecatepec happened in the early hours of Tuesday, local time.  Police say it enveloped 15 cars and 27 homes.

The force of the blast propelled the truck into the yard of one of the homes, killing a couple and their two children, according to family members.

“I ran out and took refuge on nearby roads after I heard the thunderclap.  I saw the house of my relatives in flames and when I returned the forensic experts were removing the bodies of my relatives,” said Humberto Zedillo to reporters.

Trucks, dangerous substances, and highway mishaps are no strangers in Mexico.  The Mexican Transport Institute says trucks carrying hazardous materials were involved in almost 1,200 collisions between 2006 and 2009, killing 196 people and injuring 838 others.