A truck loaded with chlorine (search) overturned on a highway in eastern China after a tire burst, spewing fumes that killed 27 people and left another 285 hospitalized, the government said Wednesday.

More than 10,000 people were evacuated after the late Tuesday accident on the main highway linking Beijing and Shanghai, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing local officials.

The truck was carrying 33 tons of chlorine when one of its tires burst, causing it to hit another truck and overturn near the city of Hui'an in Jiangsu province, Xinhua said.

The driver of one truck was killed, Xinhua said. It did not give details of the other deaths, but said people in a nearby village were sickened by the gas from the truck.

By Wednesday morning, 11 tons of chlorine were still on the truck, the agency said.