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Fri. Jan 17th 2020
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Three people were reportedly burned Friday in a tanker truck explosion inside an East Huntingdon garage, Westmoreland County 911 said.The explosion occurred about 4:25 p.m. at 1528 New Stanton-Ruffsda...
News
Tanker truck explosion inside garage
Fri. Jan 17th 2020

Three people were reportedly burned Friday in a tanker truck explosion inside an East Huntingdon garage, Westmoreland County 911 said.

The explosion occurred about 4:25 p.m. at 1528 New Stanton-Ruffsdale Road near New Stanton. Evening commuters headed south on Interstate 70 around 5 p.m. could see the smoke plume from more than two miles away.

Trib news partner WPXI reported that three people suffered burns and were taken to area hospitals, and their conditions range from critical to moderate.

Two medical helicopters were dispatched to the Hunker ball field on Bridge Street, and several propane trucks inside and outside the garage were reportedly in danger of catching fire. Firefighters from multiple departments responded to the fire, which was reported under control at 6:10 p.m.

Brenda Overly lives on Bridge Street near the ball field and didn’t initially know an explosion had occurred.

“I didn’t hear anything,” Overly said. “But when I heard the fire whistle, I turned my scanner on. It wasn’t long after that, they started setting up the choppers.”

The firefighters reported difficulties in getting a sufficient supply of water, and the tankers had to travel to Ruffsdale Elementary School and the East Huntingdon fire department to get a resupply of water.

Firefighters were pouring water on several propane trucks around the garage to keep them from exploding. The garage roof reportedly collapsed by 5:30 p.m.

Fleet Services, previously known as Mcllvaine Trucking Corp., is listed as the operator of the garage.

The 3.5-acre property is owned by National New Stanton LLC of Vass, N.C., according to the Westmoreland County tax maps.

A state police fire marshal was called to the scene.

Joe Napsha and Patrick Varine are Tribune-Review staff writers. 

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