ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. — An 18-wheeler carrying 9,200 gallons of gasoline overturned, crashed into a vacant building and burst into flames on Long Island early Wednesday, shutting down traffic for hours and spilling fuel into the sewer system, authorities said.
“When I came here, there was fire everywhere, the streets, the tanker, the two buildings, and when I looked down Sunrise Highway, there was fire coming out of seven or eight manhole covers,” James Avondet, fire chief for the village of Rockville Centre, said after the 1 a.m. crash.
The truck’s driver was injured in the crash, and three of the 150 firefighters who responded were also treated for injuries, officials said at a news conference later Wednesday.
The tanker crashed into a vacant La-Z-Boy showroom at North Center Avenue and Sunrise Highway, about 30 miles east of New York City.
“There were about 9,200 gallons on the gasoline tanker when it flipped and caught fire,” Nassau County Chief Fire Marshal Michael Uttaro said. “The driver was able to self-extricate and he was transported to to a local hospital.”
Uttaro said fuel got into the sewer system and into local creeks, where it was being contained with booms. “So there’s no threat to the environment at the moment,” he said. “There’s no threat to any of the citizens or any homes.”
He said the Coast Guard was helping to map the spill.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said several state agencies including the departments of environmental conservation and transportation as well as the state police were also assisting in the response to the explosion and fuel spill.
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