BOWIE, Md. (WJZ) — Nine hundred gallons of gasoline. That’s the explosive cargo firefighters were up against in the Bowie area of Prince George’s County.
Alex DeMetrick reports it was triggered by a rapid chain-reaction collision.
Heavily traveled Route 3 in Bowie was sealed off Monday night after a car and two trucks collided. Investigators say a box truck struck the rear of a car and then swerved toward a second truck hauling 900 gallons of gasoline.
“The tractor trailer driver attempted to evade the crash, was unable to do so, struck the back of the box truck and went into the median and turned over,” said Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley.
The crash began a very long night for Prince George’s County firefighters, who had to oversee a potentially explosive situation and keeping the public well back until the gasoline could be transferred into another tanker.
About 100 gallons of fuel did spill and it posed enough of a danger until it could be recovered but the source of that spill wasn’t the fuel inside the tanker trailer.
“Troopers told me today they believe the only fuel that spilled was coming out of the fuel tanks of the tractor trailer, not from the trailer itself. We were fortunate there wasn’t an explosion,” Shipley said.
No one was seriously injured in the accident, which was finally cleared during Tuesday morning’s commute.