NEWPORT NEWS -- A driver of a Newport News garbage truck was injured Thursday when the front end of the truck caught fire.

Officials said the driver was in the process of emptying garbage cans around 1 p.m. in the 300 block of Ilene Drive when flames erupted from the engine compartment of the truck.

The fire spread rapidly and the driver suffered minor burn injuries. He was transported to Riverside Regional Hospital, officials said.

In addition to fighting the fire, crews also had to place absorbent pads on the road to prevent oils from the truck from entering the storm drains.

Crews from the city's Solid Waste Division are on the scene to conduct clean-up operations.

The preliminary investigation indicates that an unspecified mechanical failure in the engine compartment of the garbage truck caused the fire.

The truck is valued at approximately $160,000 and is considered a loss.

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