Fiery propane tanker truck accident kills one, burns for two days, explosion prevented

Quimby Mug Bayou Florida Headshot
Updated Sep 6, 2017

One person is dead and four others injured after an SUV crashed into a propane tanker truck Saturday in Honomu on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The SUV struck the Hawaii Gas Company tanker head-on on Highway 19, causing the tanker to flip upside down and catch fire. A passenger in the SUV, a woman in her 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to The driver of the SUV and two other passengers were taken to the hospital with various injuries.

The tanker driver, though injured, escaped from the cab before it was totally engulfed in flames. The driver was also hospitalized.

The tanker had been carrying 1,750 gallons of liquid propane. Hawaii Gas and the Hawaii Fire Department both agreed it was safer to allow the propane to burn off from a broken pipe while firefighters kept the tank from getting too hot and exploding by hosing it down with water.

The fire chief had warned earlier that a tanker explosion would be catastrophic and would damage property and infrastructure. The nearest home was about 500 feet away and power lines were in the area. Firefighters worked non-stop from Saturday to Monday morning spraying the truck with about 1.25 million gallons of water, according to Highway 19 was eventually reopened to traffic today.

Screen Shot 2017 09 05 At 12 07 55 Am