Tanker truck catches fire on Sunrise Highway


Firefighters rushed to the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Sunrise Highway on Tuesday after a tanker truck carrying thousands of gallons of gasoline spontaneously combusted.

At noon, the cab of an Island Transportation truck, which was carrying about 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel, caught fire while in motion on Sunrise Highway, according to Rockville Centre Fire Chief Brian Cook. The driver pulled over near the BP gas station at that intersection and escaped.

“It’s rare,” Cook said. “Cars and trucks catch fire … but for it to be a tanker truck, that’s one in a few.”

He added that the gas the truck was carrying remained inside, but the fuel it was using — which leaked, causing the fire — spilled onto the road. Rockville Centre firefighters extinguished the blaze while the Lynbrook Fire Department then assisted in cooling down the tanker, which was no longer on fire. Firefighters were on the scene for about an hour. There were no injuries, Cook said.

The Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Sanitation Department and the Hazardous Materials Response Division from the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene to clean the spillage, Cook said.

The area was closed temporarily, Rockville Centre Police Commissioner James Vafeades said, but reopened about two hours after the fire when police removed the vehicle from the road.