Bronx, NY Gasoline Tanker Explodes, May 1991


New York (AP) - A loaded gasoline taker overturned and exploded after crashing with a car Monday, killing five people and unleashing a river of blazing fuel that destroyed a row of 10 stores, a fire official said.
The explosion shortly after midnight sent flames 100 feet into the air and burning fuel running down gutters along one of the Bronx borough's busier thoroughfares.
The truck driver and the four occupants of the car were killed, Deputy Fire Commissioner Tom Kelly said. One firefighter was taken to a hospital with burns on his face. Kelly said 10 small businesses, including a pizzeria, video store and pet store, were destroyed.
The vehicles collided in an intersection and the car slammed into one of the buildings, Kelly said.
"The truck followed, tumbled over on its side, pinning the car against the building. The building then collapsed and the tanker exploded."
The tanker, owned by Island Transportation of West Babylon, N.Y., was carrying 4,000 gallons of fuel, company officials said.
It was the second time in a month one of the company's tankers was involved in a spectacular crash. On April 22, a tanker overturned and spilled 3,500 gallons of fuel that touched off dozens of sewer fires at an approach to the Whitestone Bridge. Traffic was snarled for hours as flames shot out of manhole covers.
After Monday's crash, fire officials inspected 37 of the company's trucks. Two trucks' permits were revoked, but nothing serious enough was found to warrant closing the company, Kelly said.
Jim Cameron, director of personnel and safety for Island Transportation, said the company's equipment was not to blame.

Sioux City Journal Iowa 1991-05-21

Listing of Casualties
his wife CARMEN TAFFE.
their cousin FAYE DUNCAN REID.
JUDITH ANN McKENZIE, from Ontario, Canada.
ALFREDO GONZALEZ, 33, driver of the tanker.