Chaos in the Castro

In a chaotic scene, one person was killed in an accident that resulted in flames enveloping several parked cars on Castro Street on Thursday evening, a San Francisco Fire Departmentspokeswoman said.

The accident, on Castro Street near 18th Street, was reported at 6:52 p.m. A car heading south on Castro reportedly lost control and smashed into cars on the east side of the street, just steps from the Castro Theatre. That vehicle burst into flames upon impact, and a stream of gas then ran down Castro, causing a line of flames to travel down the street, burning up to nine cars and at least one motorcycle in its path.

The driver was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, officials said. It was unclear how the other victim was killed.

The street was closed shortly after the accident and Fire Department investigators were combing the scene late into the evening. Large crowds lined the streets as the investigators worked. Officials were hoping to clear up how the accident was triggered.

Witnesses to the accident on the bustling street described it as a scene out of a Hollywood movie, with people screaming and running from the flames.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said police Sgt. Neville Gittens, who arrived at the scene shortly after the accident.

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