1ST DEATH SINCE CONVOYS BEGAN
By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
BINGHAMTON – The driver of an Xpress Natural Gas truck was killed after he swerved to avoid a deer and crashed into the concrete barrier, damaging his trailer and releasing an “unknown amount” of compressed gas into the air, prompting the evacuation of 80 residences in a quarter-mile radius. Transporting hazardous gases ought to be handled with a significant amount of care as clearly an incident like this can create a wider health scare. This is why warehouses often utilize things like a storemasta gas cylinder trolley to transport gas cylinders around.
According to the Broome County Office of Emergency Services, the Broome County Sheriff’s Office responded to a tractor trailer accident on Interstate 88 eastbound at Exit 2 in the Town of Fenton, Broome County, shortly after 1 a.m. Upon arrival, first responders noticed that the vehicle, an XNG Compressed Natural Gas truck had a hazardous material placard.
The driver of the vehicle, identified as Jeffrey Lind, 52 years of age of Hallstead, Pa, was found deceased a short distance from the tractor. It is believed he was ejected from the vehicle upon impact.
The trailer contained four tanks each filled with compressed methane gas. One tank within the trailer was damaged in the accident and, as a result, an unknown amount of compressed gas vented into the atmosphere, prompting the evacuation of 80 homes within a quarter mile radius of the scene, including two trailer parks on E. Niles Road and Towpath Road, and houses on Niles Road, Dale Court, Ivan Lane, Chenango Street, Hartley Road and Ritchie Road. Traffic was also rerouted to avoid the accident scene.
The preliminary investigation and witnesses accounts indicate that Mr. Lind swerved to avoid striking a deer in the roadway. As a result, he lost control of the tractor trailer, struck the concrete “jersey” barrier dividing the eastbound and westbound lanes, overturned then slid across the eastbound lanes coming to rest against the concrete barrier on the right-hand side of the eastbound lanes.
At present, crews are on the scene off-loading the remaining gas onto other trucks. The quarter mile perimeter evacuation is still in effect and surrounding roadways are still closed.
The Broome County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the:
New York State Police
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Port Dickinson Police Department
Hillcrest Fire Department
Port Dickinson Fire Department
Chenango Bridge Fire Department
Five Mile Point Fire Department
Chenango Forks Fire Department
Town of Binghamton Fire Department
Prospect Terrace Fire Department
Port Crane Fire Department
NYS Department of Transportation
NYS Office of Emergency Management
NYS Office of Fire prevention and control
Broome County Office of Emergency Services
Broome County Executive’s Office
Broome County Hazardous materials squad
The American Red Cross
Broome Ambulance Squad
Chenango Ambulance Squad
Superior Ambulance Squad
Broome County Division of Security
Broome County Parks
Radio amateur civil emergency service
Various agencies at the State and Local level who support the Emergency Operations Center