Archive for Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Fire erupts in truck carrying diesel fuel

Two highways temporarily closed

July 14, 2004

Black smoke plumes billowed hundreds of feet Tuesday morning as a tanker truck carrying 1,700 gallons of diesel fuel and oil burned on Kansas Highway 32 near U.S. Highway 24-40.

Several explosions sent balls of flames 50 feet in the air, but for much of the first hour after the fire started, officials countered the inferno with a single hose.

A diesel fuel tanker erupts into a ball of flames as a
Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical personnel work to lay out
water hoses. The truck carrying 1,700 gallons of diesel fuel
exploded on Tuesday east of the intersection of U.S. Highway 24-40
and Kansas Highway 32. The driver escaped injury from the inferno.

A diesel fuel tanker erupts into a ball of flames as a Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical personnel work to lay out water hoses. The truck carrying 1,700 gallons of diesel fuel exploded on Tuesday east of the intersection of U.S. Highway 24-40 and Kansas Highway 32. The driver escaped injury from the inferno.

"Basically right now we don't have enough water," said Major Ken McGovern of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

The blazing truck, which rested 25 to 30 yards from a natural gas pipeline, ignited nearby ditches. Meanwhile, officials from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office, the Kansas Highway Patrol, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical and Wakarusa Township Fire and Rescue regulated the scene. Emergency crews made several three-mile trips to Lawrence for water.

The driver, Richard Kramer, McLouth, pulled over shortly before 9 a.m., when smoke filled the cab of the year-old "lube truck," a service vehicle he was driving for King's Construction, Oskaloosa. Kramer was not hurt, but the $100,000 truck was a total loss, said Jennifer Best, the company's office manager.

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