Authorities said that a tanker carrying 9,200 gallons (34.825 litres of gasoline) was overturned and crashed into a vacant building. The fire started on Long Island Wednesday morning. It shut down traffic for hours and poured fuel into the sewer system.
After the 1 am crash, James Avondet (fire chief for Rockville Centre), stated, “When I arrived here, there were fire everywhere. The streets, the tanker and the buildings. When I looked down Sunrise Highway to see what was happening, there was fire coming from seven or eight manhole covers.”
Officials stated that the truck driver was seriously injured in the crash. Three firefighters who responded were also treated at the scene for injuries.
The tanker crashed into the vacant La-Z-Boy showroom at North Center Avenue, Sunrise Highway, approximately 30 miles (48km) east of New York City.
“There were approximately 9,200 Gallons of gasoline in the gasoline tanker when it flipped on fire,” Nassau County Chief Police Marshal Michael Uttaro stated. “The driver was able and quickly self-extricate, and he was taken to a local medical center.” Uttaro stated that fuel was leaking into the sewer system and into local creeks. Booms were used to contain it. He stated that there is no immediate threat to the environment. “There’s no threat for any of the residents or any homes.” He stated that the Coast Guard was helping to map out the spillage.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul stated that several state agencies, including transportation and environmental conservation departments, were also involved in the response to the fuel spillage and explosion.
Hochul stated that the department of environment conservation used a drone to assess the potential environmental impacts on the area.
Avondet stated that authorities received a call at around 1:10 AM. He said that he saw a tanker truck on its side upon his arrival.
A Twitter video showed thick black smoke billowing from the Rockville Centre building where the truck crashed into it. Firefighters battled to put out the flames.
The La-Z-Boy Building was destroyed by the fire, and another building was damaged.
Avondet stated that firefighters were able “in a relatively brief time to control the fire with very few injuries.” He said, “We’re glad that if it was going be it happened at one o’clock in the morning with no other around.” Avondet said that Rockville Centre water was safe to consume, but it could be a little yellowish. The firefighters kept putting out hot spots so that businesses were not without power.
Nassau Traffic Management stated on Twitter that traffic was shut down in both directions. They also warned of delays during the morning rush hour. The cause of this crash is still under investigation.
(This story is not edited by Devdiscourse staff.