New Jersey Garbage Truck Explodes, Raises Concerns About Natural Gas Cars
An electrical fire in a garbage truck’s battery caused a huge explosion on January 26th when flames overheated one of the truck’s Compressed Natural Gas tanks.
At around 1pm, the garbage truck was making its normal rounds, picking up the trash of Hamilton, New Jersey. However, suddenly the truck’s operators noticed smoke coming from the engine—it turned out to be an electrical fire in the truck’s battery compartment. The operators tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher, but were eventually forced to bail out of the truck and call 911.
The flames grew and spread to the truck’s four natural gas tanks. Three of the tanks vented their contents, burning off the natural gas before pressure could build. The fourth tank, however, did not. Instead, it overheated and exploded, flinging the ruptured tank off of the truck and into the front of a nearby home, as well as shooting debris through the roof of a second home across the street. Two other houses suffered broken windows and melted siding.
This explosion seems to have some readers nervous about natural-gas-powered cars, with the comments section on NJ.com being filled with sarcastic references to “clean-burning natural gas,” and one person, screen-named jacaza, commenting, “So much for ‘going green’ using natural gas tanks! This could have been worse had it been summer and kids were playing outside. Now we have to fear garbage trucks!!!(sic)”.