Because of their sheer size and weight, truck accidents are often devastating regardless of the load the truck is carrying. But when a truck carrying volatile or hazardous materials is involved in a crash, the scene can quickly become a disaster.
Earlier this week, one driver lost his life in a fatal truck accident in southern Illinois. According to news sources, the driver of a propane tanker truck was killed after crashing into the back of a truck carrying coal.
The crash caused the propane truck to catch fire, which later spread to the coal in the back of the other vehicle. More than 40 firefighters responded to the accident and worked for more than an hour to contain the blaze.
Just when it seemed as though the fire was under control, the firefighters noticed danger and ran for cover. One witness at the scene said: "I saw a trail of flames leading from the vehicles into a drainage ditch. That's when everybody kind of said, 'This is not good.' Thank God the fighters who were trained on propane fires saw that, too. They were able to take cover. About 30 seconds after I saw this trail of flames going into the ditch the trailer exploded."
The explosion caused a fireball to shoot approximately 100 feet into the air. Surprisingly, despite the fire and the explosion, no one in the area was hurt. Even the driver of the coal truck was uninjured after being involved in the crash.
Considering how much flammable material was contained in the two trucks, many consider it a miracle that there was only one casualty and no injuries. Nonetheless, this accident should serve as a grim reminder that truck drivers have a responsibility to drive cautiously and defensively, especially when what they're hauling is so dangerous.
Source: StlToday, "Fiery crash leaves driver dead in Southern Illinois," D.W. Norris, Mar. 27, 2013