A truck driver has been killed and a woman rushed to hospital after an explosion ripped through Melbourne's west, triggering a major traffic collision.
The explosion occurred about 11.55am Tuesday on the corner of Barkly and Gordon Street at Footscray, scattering debris across the street, smashing windows, bringing down power lines and sparking a smash between a number of vehicles.
It is believed the explosion could have been caused when a cylinder of oxyacetylene or LPG on a truck blew up.
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Addressing media, Acting Inspector Nigel L'Estrange confirmed one man had died and several other people were injured.
"We have one male deceased who is in his early 20s who was the only occupant of the truck," he said on Tuesday afternoon.
"We have one female in her late 30s who has been taken to the Footscray Hospital. She's in a stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.
"We have a couple of other bystanders with minor injuries who were treated at the scene."
He described the scene as "fairly chaotic", adding that 19 people had been evacuated from nearby buildings.
"We have probably approximately say about a quarter of a block of windows blown out," L'Estrange added.
"We have structural engineers on some of the buildings. There's possibly asbestos in one of those buildings. So we've had to evacuate the residents due to that."
He said investigators were at the scene to probe the cause of the explosion, but ruled out terrorism as a factor.
"It is very early but initial indications are that the explosion has occurred on the truck as it was travelling and in its led into the other incidents," L'Estrange said.