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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Trucker Dies in Fiery California Freeway Crash
Recently, a gorgeous Long Beach, California Saturday afternoon was shattered when a tanker truck hauling 8,000 gallons of ethanol crashed and exploded into an intense inferno that sent streams of fire into storm drains, killing the driver and clogging major highways.
According to witnesses on the scene, the heat from the blazing ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, was so scorching that it melted guardrails, and all that remained of the truck were its axles and small sections of the cab.
In a statement, the Long Beach Fire Department said the truck smashed into the side rail of eastbound State Route 91 at the transition to Interstate 710. The cause of the crash was under investigation.
Long Beach Fire Department Capt. Jackawa Jackson said that a tremendous fireball enveloped the I-710 overpasses.
Fire department officials were concerned the fire may have weakened the elevated portion of the road.
Despite concerns, the California Highway Patrol deemed the interstate fit to reopen several hours after the crash, and all but one lane of the state route were open to traffic the next day.
A river of burning alcohol poured from the tanker into a storm drain, shooting pyres of flame 20 feet in the air from other storm drains.
Jackson said firefighters used foam to tame the flames.
The driver's name was not released at press time.