Some truck accidents happen not because of mistakes made by a driver, but issues with hazardous or explosive cargo that is transported by tankers.
The Pittsburgh metro area is dealing with the aftermath of a tanker truck that exploded and injured three people.
Warehouse explosion requires a massive response
Police and firefighters arrived at the scene just after 4 pm when a truck was involved in an incident inside a commercial garage in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Due to the size and strength of the blaze, along with the fact that hazardous chemicals were stored in the same facility, a number of different agencies had to respond to fight the blaze and secure the area. An emergency worker from East Huntingdon Township said they first checked the inside to make sure everyone was out. They noticed heavy smoke and fire, and a second explosion that occurred about forty minutes after the initial incident. The ceiling of the building also began to collapse around this time.
Hazmat teams eventually arrived on the scene, as well as several additional tankers of water to control the fire. The fire was mostly subdued by about 6 pm, about two hours after the first explosion. However, most of the emergency workers remained on the scene until about 11 pm to make sure the area was safe.
The state police will be conducting a full investigation of the incident to try to determine an exact cause of the initial explosion and share their findings. Their initial suspicion is that a valve failed when workers were performing routine maintenance within the building.
Two victims had to be airlifted to UPMC Mercy Trauma and Burn Center. One of them was in critical condition, but the other sustained serious injuries as well. A woman was also transported away from the scene by ambulance with injuries that were less serious than the two airlifted victims.
The company Grammer that owns the building in headquartered in Indiana. They specialize in transportation of liquid fuel and other goods, some of which are considered hazardous materials. They were experiencing rapid growth, including a number of drivers that operate specialty trailers and tractors. They also recently acquired another logistics company.
The building where the explosion occurred is only about two miles away from the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 70 intersection. East Huntingdon Township is a few miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
Businesses that deal with hazardous materials
Trucking companies and other businesses that routinely handle hazardous materials are required by state law and other regulations to follow certain precautions. These rules are designed to prevent accidents such as this from happening. If one or more of the employees of the business was negligent in their handling of the tanker that exploded, the victims will be able to file a civil lawsuit against them and make them pay for their injuries and other losses.
An experienced lawyer can answer any questions related to trucking companies and hazardous materials during a consultation where you can discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit.
Get in touch with a local lawyer in Pennsylvania
To learn more about how to file a lawsuit after a truck accident, contact Scanlon and Wojton, Attorneys at Law. They provide representation to all kinds of injured clients throughout Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania.