One person was tragically killed Monday evening when an 18-wheeler loaded with hazardous-flammable materials exploded after crashing into a concrete barrier near Brownsville, Texas.
Tanker-Truck Was Heading North on SH 550 at Unsafe Speed
The April 17th accident occurred shortly before 7:00 p.m. local time, as the tanker-truck headed north on the State Highway 550 toll road near Rancho Viejo.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the rig was traveling at an unsafe speed when the driver lost control, causing the truck to strike the concrete barrier and roll onto its side at the interchange with Expressway 77.
The fuel inside the tanker ignited, sending massive fireballs into the air as firefighters struggled to extinguish the out-of-control blaze.
Texas DPS Seeking Info from Witnesses to Brownsville 18-Wheeler Explosion
One person died at the scene of the 18-wheeler explosion. However, the name of the victim has not been released pending notification of their family. Authorities have also not identified the trucking company involved in the crash.
State Highway 550 remained closed for several hours to allow for accident reconstruction and cleanup.
Last night’s horrific 18-wheeler explosion remains under investigation. Texas DPS is asking anyone who witnessed the accident to call the Weslaco DPS Office at (956) 565-7600.
Hazmat Truck Accidents Cause More Deaths than Trains
The recent East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment recently raised significant concerns about rail safety, especially trains carrying hazardous materials. But according to PBS NewsHour, trucks actually haul a significantly larger percentage of the hazardous materials shipped in the U.S.
They’re also associated with far more deaths, injuries, and property damage every year. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, compared to trains, accidents involving hazmat trucks caused 16-times as many fatalities between 1971 and 2021 — 380 for trucks vs 23 for rail.
Over the last decade, there were no deaths associated with rail transport of hazardous materials. However, trucking-related incidents were responsible for 83 fatalities.
FMCSA Hazmat Trucking Regulations
To prevent incidents like the Brownsville 18-wheeler explosion, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucks to carry appropriate hazardous materials placards when they’re hauling cargo that falls into one of nine hazmat classes, including:
- Explosives: For example, dynamite, gunpowder, and fireworks.
- Gases: Including flammable gases that readily burn in the air, non-flammable gases like helium, and poisonous gases like carbon monoxide.
- Flammable and Combustible Liquids: Any liquid that can ignite when exposed to an ignition source and at a temperature of less than 140-degrees Fahrenheit, such as gasoline, ethanol, and some paints and solvents.
- Flammable Solids: Materials like matchsticks, as well as spontaneously combustible materials and solid materials that are dangerous when wet.
- Oxidizer and Organic Peroxides: This class includes oxidizers, such as silver nitrate, that can contribute to the combustion of other materials, as well as organic peroxides that can release heat and energy at dangerous levels.
- Toxic and Infectious Substances: Liquid or solid materials presumed toxic or infectious to humans.
- Radioactive: Uranium, plutonium and other radioactive materials like x-ray equipment.
- Corrosive: Acidic substances able to eat away at skin or other materials, such as battery acids and degreasers.
- Miscellaneous: Anything else posing a threat while on the road that doesn’t fit in with one of the previous classes.
FMCSA regulations also mandate that all hazmat drivers be over the age of 21, possess a hazmat endorsement on their CDL, and wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while on the job.
Contact Our Undefeated Texas Truck Accident Lawyers for a Free Consult by Calling 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here
Our Undefeated Texas Truck Accident Lawyers are investigating the deadly Brownsville 18-wheeler explosion on SH 550 and will post an update if new information is made available.
In addition to being undefeated, we’ve won Billions for truck and 18-wheeler accident victims across Texas, Louisiana, and throughout the United States, including the Largest Truck Accident Settlement in Texas
If you or a loved one were injured or tragically killed in a truck or 18-wheeler accident, please call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.
Your consultation is free, and because we only work for a contingency fee, you’ll owe nothing unless we win your case.