As our readers know, truck accidents can be extremely dangerous. These vehicles that are extremely large in height and size are very common in our area, as Chicago is a large hub for business. Trucks are constantly going to and from our metropolitan area, carrying all sorts of products and goods for businesses. However, sometimes the things they carry are not your everyday consumer items but may be hazardous materials. While truck accidents are already dangerous on their own, consider the gravity of an impact when a hazardous material like gasoline or other chemicals are involved.
According to a recent report by Fox17 News, a tanker truck exploded on Interstate 94. The fire started in the morning, and emergency crews had to battle the fire for several hours into the afternoon. Because of the fire, the interstate was shut down in both directions due to the extreme danger and emergency crews responding. The truck driver was transported to the hospital, and is expected to recover from his injuries. The accident is currently under investigation, as authorities are trying to determine what caused the tanker to explode.
The Chicago Tribune also reported on this explosion, describing how the accident sent huge plumes of smoke into the air, requiring the interstate to be closed. Emergency responders had to battle the fire for several hours, and the fire continued to flare up multiple times as firefighters fought to extinguish it. Apparently, even after the fire was contained on the scene, fires in the city’s sewer system continue to pose dangers and problems for the interstate and local area. A spokesperson from the state’s department of transportation stated that the truck had more than 13,000 gallons of diesel and gasoline in the tanker.
Even after an accident involving hazardous materials is cleared, it continues to pose health problems to the local area. As a result of the accident some of the hazardous materials leaked into the sewer system. When this occurs, the remaining fuel in the sewer has to be addressed because this poses harm to the people and local environment, such as by contaminating the water. A professor from Wayne State University stated that the thick smoke from the explosion is indicative of high levels of particulate pollution, which are small particles that especially affect the lungs of children, the elderly, and those who are already sick. The professor explained that the smaller the particles, the worse it is for public health. Small particles are easily inhalable and can reach deep into the lungs. Gases can attach to such small particles too. He also elaborated that because we do not know everything that was in the released fumes, and they happen to be a chemical that causes cancer, there would be a high concentration of those chemicals in locals’ respiratory system.
When companies transport dangerous materials and an accident results, they are legally responsible for their actions and the dangers and health risks they pose to the local community. When companies choose to engage in an activity that is inherently dangerous, such as hauling chemicals, they bear the risk for this choice. If someone were to suffer injury or illness as a result of negligence on the employees hauling the material., the company could be held liable through legal action.