A semi truck overturned recently on Arizona State Route 347, spilling out a massive amount of diesel fuel. The accident injured multiple people, required hazmat intervention to secure and clean up the scene and resulted in the closure of the highway for several hours.
According to Arizona police officials, more than 2,000 gallons of diesel were spilled onto the highway. While diesel is less likely than gasoline to accidentally combust and start an uncontrollable fire, the risk is still there. Regardless, however, it still poses a risk to the local environment. As said above, a state hazmat team had to come in and spend several hours cleaning up the immediate area and securing what fuel they could to prevent it from pouring into the local ecosystem and water table.
Plus the fumes of the stuff are known to be unhealthy for humans to breathe. While no announcement has been made about the matter, it is quite probable that some of the hospitalizations that occurred at the accident were in response to exposure to the diesel.
There were ultimately seven people hospitalized following the accident, again for reasons that have not yet been released to the public. Details on the accident remain unusually sparse even days after the event. There is no word about the exact cause of the semi tipping over, whether alcohol was involved or whether there was a collision between the truck and other drivers.
But by their very nature, tractor-trailers are a disruptive influence on the road. Normally accidents like this don’t happen, but when they do, the effect ripples outward immediately. A mishap involving one truck caused significant impact to emergency services, other drivers on the road and the local environment — all in the space of a few seconds. People are regularly injured in accidents involving semi trucks, because there’s just no good way to come out of a tractor-trailer accident.