A tanker truck carrying a flammable liquid crashed on a Maryland highway on Saturday, causing a devastating fire that resulted in the death of the driver and significant damage to several homes and vehicles. The accident occurred around noon on U.S. 15 in Frederick, located about an hour west of Baltimore, and pictures showed thick smoke and towering flames that could be seen for miles.
According to reports, fire crews arrived within minutes after receiving several emergency calls, finding the truck fully engulfed in flames. The fire had also spread to three nearby homes and several cars. Speaking at a news conference, Frederick Fire Chief Tom Coe confirmed that one of the homes was extensively damaged, resulting in the displacement of the residents. The other two homes sustained minor damage, he said. Fortunately, no other injuries were reported apart from the truck driver who died in the accident. Authorities have not released the driver’s identity.
As of now, officials are investigating the exact cause of the accident and trying to determine the exact substance that the tanker was carrying. However, it is believed that it was a flammable liquid such as gasoline or diesel fuel, which is commonly transported, and poses no significant threat to the public. The fire has caused concern about air and water quality, and authorities have stated that they are closely monitoring the situation. They have also confirmed that the city’s sewer system and the nearby creek have not been breached.
Following the incident, U.S. 15 was closed in both directions, causing significant traffic disruption. The State Highway Administration has urged motorists to avoid the area and take alternate routes. Authorities have also advised residents in the affected neighborhoods to remain indoors and keep their windows closed due to the possible impact of toxic fumes from the accident.
The crash has sparked safety concerns, as it highlights the risks associated with the transportation of flammable liquids on highways. In 2019, for example, the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed new regulations for the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail and truck, following several high-profile accidents involving LNG. The proposed regulations aim to enhance safety standards and reduce the risks associated with the transportation of LNG.
The tragedy in Maryland is also a stark reminder of the importance of emergency preparedness and response. Coe noted that the quick response of fire crews was critical in containing the fire and preventing further damage. He urged residents to take safety precautions seriously and ensure that their homes are equipped with working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
In the meantime, local authorities are working closely with state and federal agencies to investigate the cause of the accident and assess the damage. They have also initiated cleanup efforts to address the environmental impact of the accident. As the investigation continues and the affected neighborhoods begin to recover from the incident, the Maryland community remains united in mourning the loss of life and the devastation caused by the accident.