902 A crime scene expert takes pictures of the scene on 7th street in Linden where 3 men tried to hijack a woman after a chase with the police that started in Robindale. 190208. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - Four police officers and a truck driver were killed in a crash followed by an explosion on the N1 in Limpopo on Thursday, police said.

Colonel Ronel Otto said a truck travelling on the highway between Polokwane and Mokopane crashed into the rear of another truck which was carrying explosives.

“While our members were attending to the scene, the truck with blasting cartridges caught fire and exploded,” said Otto.

The four police officers were killed, while three others were seriously injured.

“The driver of the truck which was behind (the one with the explosives) was also killed in the incident,” said Otto.

It was unclear whether he had died from the collision or the blast.

Three other vehicles were damaged in the explosion.

“The drivers of those vehicles were taken to hospital but they did not suffer any life threatening injuries,” Otto said.

The highway had been closed off.

Motorists were advised to use alternative routes as the road was expected to be closed for a while.

“We have deployed forensic officials and detectives to the scene to investigate the matter,” said Otto. - Sapa