Rail Oil Tanker Explodes in Phoenix

Thursday, April 24, 2014 @ 06:04 PM gHale


Two people suffered bad burns when a rail oil tanker exploded Tuesday in an industrial area northwest of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Air and ground travel in the immediate area also suffered delays because of the blast.

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Phoenix fire officials said two people went to Maricopa County Medical Center Burn Unit with severe burns after the explosion.

A 45-year-old man suffered third-degree burns to 15 percent of his body. He is awake, alert and talking to investigators. A 23-year-old man suffered third-degree burns to 50 percent of his body, doctors said Tuesday afternoon. Doctors are keeping him in a medically induced coma for as long as two weeks, physicians said.

Fire officials said a 40,000-gallon rail car tanker exploded about 7 a.m. and about 70,000 gallons of used automotive oil were a part of the blaze. Multiple tanks caught fire.

The fire closed a series of streets and roads near the incident and there were delays in all rail lines. A Phoenix Sky Harbor notification said all runways remained open and flights were taking off and landing on schedule. The airport suggested passengers arriving and departing by ground should avoid 24th and Washington Street.

Well over 100 firefighters from Phoenix and Tempe were on the scene.



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