02-17-1999, 08:06 PM #1Tri TownsendFirehouse.com Guest
Hazmat Incident: Pickup vs. Fuel Tanker
At approximately 6:30 PM 02/16/99, a personal injury accident was toned out to Salisbury Fire Dept. 6 member duty crew of engine 4 and first run paramedic unit with 2 paramedics on board. It was reported truck vs. fuel truck with fuel spill. Upon thier arrival Asst Chief Donald Records (40 years of experience) found a fuel tanker with approximately 5000 gallons of gas and 2000 gallons of diesel fuel on board and a pickup wedged under the belly of the tanker and the piping from the tank compartments sheared off; with large volumes of fuel pouring out onto U.S. RT. 50 and into the storm drains. The 73 year old driver of the pickup was still in the truck with the engine still running. Fire fighters and paramedics quickly removed the victim out the passenger side of the truck and turned the engine off. The patient was transported 2 miles to Pennisula Regional Medical Center with minor injuries. Asst. Chief Records then began requesting support from the volunteers of Salisbury Fire Dept.'s three stations. A Wicomico County spill trailer from Salisbury Headquarters as well as a foam trailer from the City of Salisbury was brought to the scene. Engine 5, with 4 on board,from headquarters responded to the west side of the incident; and egine 210 from station 2 was shortly dispatched to contain the run off from the storm drains into a near by pond. Rescue 1 from Headquarters responded with additional man power, as well as an automatic dispatch by Wicomico county 911 Emergency management unit. Salisbury's Station 2 remaining members stayed on stand by and later responded with Air Light 2 to the scene. Station 1 moved engine 101 up to Headquarters along with Fruitland's Engine 301 for stand by. Hebron responded to National Guard Armory, 1 mile west of the scene with engine 501 and command 5 to stand by cover any calls west of the scene. The conveince store in front of which this incident took place was evacuated and completely shut down, as well as few near by homes. A back hoe and sand pile from a construction site next to the scene was used quickly by fire fighter Bryan Townsend from engine 4's crew to dam up the run off fuel from going into the storm drain. Engine 4 laid 500 ft of 5 inch line to a hydrant East of the accident and started covering the fuel with the 10 gallons of foam it carried. Engine 5 laid 900 ft 5 inch line from last hydrant on the system from the West side of the accident and after the arrival of the foam trailer laid foam down on the scene. The State Highway brought in 2 dump trucks load of more sand and the City of Salisbury came in with front end loader to assist the back hoe already in use to in circle the accident with the sand. The Maryland State Environmental Response units arrived from across the Chesapeake Bay area with in 1 1/2 to 2 hours of the first call. Salisbury fire fighters slowed the flow of the fuels until thier arrival when the State units coordinated the removal of the fuel left in the tanker and removal of the contained spill. It was estimated that almost 6000 gallons was released. Crews remained on the scene for 12 hours until vehicles involved were safely removed and U.S. Route 50 was reopened. 50 gallons of foam was used and 259 man hours were involved. The accident is under investigation by the Maryland State Police and Dept of Transportation, with charges pending against the tanker driver. The Maryland Environmental Response team will be remaining in the area monitoring clean up and testing for the effects on the environment.
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