On October 26, 2011, at around 11 pm, a tanker truck carrying diesel fuel crashed approaching the Conowingo Dam in the Cecil County. The explosion has closed the Conowingo Dam until further notice. As of 10:30 am the truck had been removed from the site but the roadway was not opened. According the the Maryland Department of Transportation website the road is still closed for north and south bound traffic as of 1 pm.
The truck driver was hospitalized after a fuel tanker crashed. There is no word on the driver’s condition. The driver has not been identified as of 6 am October 27, 2011. The driver has been identified as being from Delaware.
The fuel truck was involved in a single vehicle incident when the driver lost control and hit the guardrail on Route 1 heading towards the intersection of Route 222 and the Conowingo Dam at the Susquehanna River. There is an decline and a curve on Route 1 as you approach the dam.
It is unknown at this hour if the diesel fuel made its way to the Susequehanna River. The Maryland Department of Environment has been been on the scene in coordination with the Maryland State Police (MSP)and Cecil County Fire Services, in order to clean up the mess.
Cecil County Fire officials report that the tanker was filled with 7,500 gallons of diesel fuel board. Maryland State Police report that they can confirm that diesel fuel leaked down onto the Norfolk Southern Railway train track. This leak of diesel fuel has stopped the train traffic on this track. MSP are also confirming that preliminary investigations indicate that the driver of the fuel truck may have fallen asleep behind the wheel.
Dozens of firefighters from Harford and Cecil counties worked to put out the fire. The fire and emergency operators were still cleaning up the mess late Thursday morning, October 27, 2011. Hazardous materials crews were also onsite and working to catch the fuel, which leaked into a culvert. There is no word as to if the Conowingo Dam has been impacted or damaged by the incident.
The Maryland State Police report that crews working the crash scene would be moving the tanker truck from the bridge at approximately 5:30 am.
Officials state that they preliminarily believe the tanker truck driver, who is from Delaware, was traveling too fast and lost control of the big rig. The Medevac Helicopter was called to the scene and flew him from the crash scene to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. The driver was taken to Bayview to be checked out for burns. It is believed that he will be okay.
As of 6 am on Thursday, October 27, 2011, that tanker crash has closed the Conowingo Dam and Route 1. The incicident’s aftermath is expected to tie up traffic most of Thursday morning.
Cecil County Emergency officals urge motorists who would have used Route 1 over the Conowingo Dam to take I-95 to Route 22 and then take Route 1. This is a significant detour for motorist so take the additional time needed while planning your route.
The investigation into this diesel tanker crash is under investigation. For more details on the impact of damage and video from the crash, go to ABC2News for more information.