Liquid Nitrogen Tanker Truck Involved in Single Vehicle Southern Illinois Truck Accident

By April 3, 2009Trucking Accidents

A tanker truck carrying a load of liquid nitrogen for fertilizer crashed in Belleville, Ill. March 6, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. The truck’s driver was delivering the fertilizer to his son’s farm, the newspaper said, when he made a left turn and slid into a ditch. The driver was seriously injured and had to be airlifted to a St. Louis hospital, the article said. The tanker also spilled a small amount of its liquid nitrogen load, which required a hazardous materials team to clean up and transfer to a new tank.
Fortunately, the article said the spill was small and posed no threat to the public. But liquid nitrogen, a common fertilizer ingredient, required a hazmat team because it can pose a serious threat when it’s not controlled. Liquid nitrogen can displace the oxygen in the air around it, which means nearby oxygen levels can drop so low that human beings could asphyxiate. Because it is very, very cold, people should also never touch it without safety equipment. And under some circumstances, it explodes easily — an accident with pressured liquid nitrogen blew a tank through the roof of a building at Texas A&M University in 2006.
This southern Illinois truck accident is a good example of how even a one-vehicle accident can pose a threat to the people nearby. And according to research from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration — the federal agency that regulates interstate trucking — trucks carrying loads designated as hazmat are more dangerous in an accident than other trucks. The agency found that 11% of all truck loads are hazardous materials — and more than three-quarters of all trucks carrying hazmat loads are carrying flammable liquids or gases. Trucks carrying hazmat crashed at about the same rate as other trucks — but they were three times as likely to have a rollover accident, 50% more likely to have a cargo spill and more than three times as likely to catch fire after an accident.
Based in Belleville and St. Louis, the Lowe Law Firm represents clients in southern Illinois and all of Missouri in trucking accident lawsuits. The St. Louis trucking accident lawyers can help people who sustained serious injuries or lost a loved one recover the money they need to pay accident-related costs, make ends meet after a loss of income and compensate them for a loss in the family or permanent disability. If you are in this situation, we can help with a free, confidential consultation on your case. To set one up, please contact us online or call us toll-free at 1-877-678-3400 today.