Tanker Truck Explodes on I-75 North

ABC News reports that a tanker truck exploded after a wreck on I-75 North in Hazel Park, Michigan, just north of Detroit, and the ensuing flames caused an overpass to collapse.

The accident happened yesterday during the evening rush hour. Police said that a car spun out of control, causing a tanker truck carrying 13,000 thousand gallons of fuel to flip and collide with another tractor trailer truck before bursting into flames. The explosion caused the overhead bridge to catch on fire.

“I just saw a big eruption,” said one onlooker. “I was in shock. I didn’t know what it was.”

Amazingly, nobody was killed in this horrendous tanker truck accident. All three drivers involved in the accident escaped with minor injuries.

“I can’t believe anyone walked out of that,” said another witness.

The bridge wasn’t so lucky. The fire burned for several hours and weakened the structure of the overpass before it collapsed. Both lanes of I-75 have been shut down while officials investigate the crash. The bridge that collapsed was only recently rebuilt. Now, it will probably be weeks or months to repair the overpass.

Here’s some raw video footage of the accident’s aftermath:

You have to be especially careful when you’re driving near tanker trucks. Approximately 70 percent of tanker trucks carry hazardous materials, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). FMCSA statistics show that hazardous material cargoes are 50 percent more likely to spill, and accidents often release toxic fumes.

Many tanker trucks carry flammable materials that can lead to explosions like the one in Michigan. Unfortunately, rollover accidents are common for tanker trucks. The momentum of the liquid cargo can shift easily, causing the truck to rollover. The majority of tanker truck accidents occur on rural highways, but when they occur in cities, the risk of injury is much higher.

A half-full tanker truck is the most likely type of truck to rollover, and rollovers account for approximately 55 percent of all fatalities caused by trucking accidents. According to the FMCSA, truck drivers are at fault in 55 percent of trucking accidents. In 2006, trucking accidents caused nearly 5,000 fatalities in the United States.

A 1992 analysis by the Los Angeles Times found that injuries due to hazardous materials incidents had increased 37 percent from 1982 to 1991. During this time period, 106 out of 108 deaths involved tanker trucks. Gasoline, sulfuric acid, and ammonia are the most dangerous liquids transported by tanker trucks.

If you have been injured in a tanker truck accident, call MLN Law at 404.531.9700. Our experienced truck accident attorneys will fight to get you the compensation that you for your recovery.