A gas tanker carrying 9,200 gallons of gasoline overturned and crashed into a vacant former La-Z-Boy store and nearby liquor store on Long Island’s Sunrise Highway, causing a massive fire and shutting down local traffic early Wednesday (February 16) morning, authorities confirmed.
“When I came here, there was fire everywhere, the streets, the tanker, the two buildings, and when I looked down Sunrise Highway, there was fire coming out of seven or eight manhole covers,” said James Avondet, fire chief for the village of Rockville Centre, via the Associated Press.
Officials confirmed the truck’s driver experienced injuries during the crash, as did three of the 150 firefighters who responded to the scene, during a news conference updating the situation on Wednesday.
“There were about 9,200 gallons on the gasoline tanker when it flipped and caught fire,” Nassau County Chief Fire Marshal Michael Uttaro said via the AP. “The driver was able to self-extricate and he was transported to to a local hospital.”
Uttaro said fuel from the tanker went into the sewer system and local creeks, but was contained with brooms, prohibiting any potential “threat to the environment at the moment” and added that “there’s no threat to any of the citizens or any homes.”
Uttaro also confirmed that the Coast Guard is assisting in mapping the spill.