Two people died and 15 others were injured Wednesday after a fuel tanker exploded at a gas station in central Italy, according to the country's firefighting service.

The incident happened at around 2.30 pm local time in the province of Rieti, Lazio region, when a fuel tanker resupplying a gas station exploded, provoking an enormous fireball.

A fireman already on the scene of the emergency and the driver of the fuel tanker were killed and another 15 people were injured, seven of whom were first responders, as seen in images released via epa.

The fire was brought under control but the emergency response remained activated as authorities tried to ascertain the cause of the explosion.

The wounded were immediately evacuated, some flown out by helicopters and other referred to nearby hospitals.