South King Fire & Rescue units, along with a ladder truck from Valley Regional Fire Authority, responded to a tanker truck crash that took the life of a 68-year old driver at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning (Nov. 4) on southbound I-5 about a mile south of 320th Street in Federal Way.
The tanker truck, hauling 9,000 gallons of aviation fuel, went off the roadway, smashed through a concrete sound barrier and burst into flames. The tanker truck had collided with two vehicles in the roadway in a previous incident. Three persons from the vehicles suffered non-life threatening injuries and were transported to a local hospital.
The 9,000 gallons of fuel spilled into an unoccupied storage yard and caught fire as South King Fire units arrived at the scene. A Port of Seattle Airport Firefighting Crash truck was requested to the scene to apply large quantities of firefighting foam to suppress this flammable liquid fire. Foam dispensing apparatus would also be requested later from Boeing Fire Department and Renton Fire Department due to the size of the spill. In addition, the Washington Department of Ecology was working closely with the trucking company and their private cleanup contractor, NRC-Environmental Services, to clean up remaining fuel.
South King Fire remained on the scene until late Sunday evening to monitor frequent flair-ups of ignited fuel and to assist with the removal of tanker truck. Environmental cleanup crews will be on scene for several days to monitor and decontaminate the area.
Here are photos from the spectacular fire courtesy South King Fire & Rescue (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):