Route 5 Reopened After Propane Tanker Accident

December 21, 2016 - 2:24 am
Lackawanna, NY (WBEN) -  Route 5 in Lackawanna was closed for much of Wednesday after an accident involving a propane tanker just after 7:00 in the morning.

Fire crews are venting and burning the propane from the overturned Irish tanker on Route 5 at Dona Street in Lackawanna after it collided with a pickup truck. Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield said that while some of the propane spilled out on to the road, the tanker was still filled with nearly 3,000 gallons, leading them to conduct a controlled burn of all the propane.

"It's going through the hose, it's going up through a stand-pipe, and it's lit at the end of the pipe," Whitfield said. "There are gauges all along the way to control the flow of the propane if we need to cut it off, if something goes awry. There's several different cutoff points."

Whitfield said that once the tanker is drained, it can be turned upright and moved out of the roadway.

"It is very dangerous," Whitfield said. "Propane as you know is highly explosive so we are trying to take every precaution, doing air monitoring to make sure that the vapors are not off-gassing to other locations, just trying to keep everyone safe."

Three people involved in the accident were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Three businesses, including a Best Western Hotel, were evacuated shortly after the crash.

Firefighters say that the accident should keep Route 5 closed until at least the early evening.





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