Massive Tanker Truck Fire Shuts Down Major SOCAL Freewayby Jana Ritter - Published: 4/27/2015
The southbound lanes of the 710 Freeway in Bell, California still remain closed Monday morning after a massive tanker truck fire caused chaos late Sunday afternoon. The accident occurred south of Atlantic Boulevard between Slauson Avenue and Bandini Boulevard at around 3:30 p.m., when a tanker truck trailer overturned and erupted in flames, shutting down the 710 Freeway in both directions.
January 05, 2018 - Trucker Faces 20 Years After Pleading Guilty To Smuggling Alien Found Dead In Locked Toolbox
January 02, 2018 - Police Identify 2 Oregon Truck Drivers Killed In Fiery Head-On Crash
December 27, 2017 - Iowa First Of Eight States To Debut New Truck Parking Information System
According to authorities, the tanker truck driver and a passenger had been pulling a double trailer when they driver heard a popping sound and saw the second trailer begin to tip over. The driver immediately pulled over and the two men were able to run from the truck, escaping the blast unharmed. Good thing, because the tanker had been carrying 8,500 gallons of fuel between the two tanks.
"He heard a loud pop. He looked in his rear view mirror and he saw that he either lost a tire or experienced a flat in his rear trailer. At that point, he saw that the trailer had overturned," said Officer Juan Galvan of the California Highway Patrol.
Although only one of the tanks erupted, it caused a massive explosion with flames and smoke that halted traffic and could be seen for miles away. Despite the size of the fire on such a major freeway, fortunately no injuries were reported and it was mainly the Los Angeles County Fire officials who had the difficult task of putting out the fire. Capt. Keith Mora said that the firefighters had to drag the fire hose across the northbound lanes over to the southbound lanes and use foam to put out the flames.
"We're containing the spill of gasoline, so that it doesn't go any further south, with crews that just are diking and damming," Mora said Sunday. “We also had a small area of brush or grass, about 100 feet, that caught on fire." Another tanker truck was brought out to capture the remaining fuel and Caltrans crews were sent out to inspect any further possible damage to the freeway. California Highway Patrol officers were immediately called in to divert both the southbound and northbound traffic caught in the radius of the scene. Many drivers indicated that being trapped in the snarled traffic wasn’t just inconvenient, but that the scene was absolutely terrifying to watch.
While the exact cause of the crash is still being investigated, no other vehicles were involved and Caltrans officials say that two of the four lanes of the 710 from Atlantic Boulevard to Florence Avenue may re-open as early as 5 p.m. Monday and that the remaining lanes would reopen late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.
What also remains to be seen is whether the tanker truck driver will incur any fines. What many people don’t realize is that HAZMAT drivers are often issued mandated fines in these situations and they can be as much as $175,000. HAZMAT drivers are usually paid more, but even they don’t realize that they can often be found more accountable for accidents involving the hazardous material they’re carrying and only become aware of it when they’re slapped with the hefty fines. An on-going issue that needs to be more openly discussed.
Do you think its fair game that more pay can also mean that HAZMAT drivers are more accountable when accidents occur with bad consequences?