A dozen firefighters and one civilian bystander were taken to a hospital following a trash truck explosion in Riverside County, California. The explosion occurred bear Butterfield Stage and Rancho California roads, according to Cal Fire Riverside, the county firefighting and rescue service.
Firefighters were called to the scene of a trash truck in flames about midmorning. The truck was pulled over to the side of the road when the firefighters arrived on scene.
While the firefighters battled the blaze, a propane tank that was on the vehicle exploded. The firefighters were unaware that a propane tank was in the trash truck.
According to the California Highway Patrol, when the propane tank exploded, shrapnel and debris flew in all directions. Firefighters and one civilian were injured directly after the blast. The extent of injuries is not known. What is known is that 12 firefighters and one bystander were transported to three different area hospitals. At this time, it is believed that no serious injuries were sustained as a result of the explosion, fire, and flying debris. CHP emphasized that no hazardous materials were involved in the fire and propane tank explosion.
The driver of the truck evidently was not the civilian that was injured as a result of the explosion. There is no information yet available as to whether or not the driver was aware of the presence of the propane tank in the vehicle.
Not all firefighters at the scene of the Riverside County trash truck fire were taken to hospitals. The remaining firefighters continued to fight the blaze. Firefighters spent several hours battling the blaze before it was extinguished. Roadways around the scene of the Riverside County trash truck fire remained closed until about 2:00 p.m.
Ownership of the trash truck that exploded in Riverside County has not been identified. There are a number of different entities that provide garbage collection services throughout Riverside County.
Unfortunately, with alarming regularity, hazardous materials and items – like the propane tank in question – are placed in the household garbage stream each and every day across the United States. While explosions of this nature are not frequent, they do happen because people place items like propane tanks and other combustible materials into the household garbage stream. Not only is placing items like a propane tank into household garbage illegal putting combustible and other hazardous materials into the “regular garbage” can present a serious threat to innocent citizens as well as firefighters and others.
The total amount of municipal solid waste (household and similar garbage) generated in the United States in 2018 was over 292 tons, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or EPA. That equates to almost five pounds of municipal solid waste generated per person daily. 2018 is the last year the EPA has a full set of analyzed data available. The municipal solid waste rate likely increased in 2019 and 2020.
Because of the volume of municipal waste disposed of across the country every day, the risk for inclusion of hazardous materials and harmful items remains a major concern. Despite consumer education and laws prohibiting this type of hazardous waste and item disposal, the problem is persistent and pervasive.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an explosion accident, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. If you’ve lost a family member in an explosion accident, our committed lawyers are here for you. You can schedule an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm explosion accident lawyer any time of the day or night by calling us at (800) 349-0000.
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