Jet Fuel Truck Accident

Jet fuel tanker explodes

Situation

A tanker truck carrying jet fuel tipped over beneath a highway overpass, causing jet fuel to escape from the truck and subsequently ignite a fire which engulfed the bridge.

Challenge

The fire closed an interstate highway and morning rush hour traffic needed to be diverted. A prompt assessment was required to limit the amount of time between the incident and necessary repairs to be made in order to allow normal traffic to pass.

Solution

Thielsch Engineering was contracted to investigate the incident and to determine the extent of damage to the bridge, including steel beams, a concrete deck and the abutments for the bridge.

In the course of performing the condition assessments, various examinations and tests were performed. The nondestructive techniques used included visual, wet fluorescent magnetic particle and radiographic examinations as well as hardness determinations and replication sampling.

Results

The results of the testing and examinations showed that the tensile strength, hardness values and microstructure of the steel beams were acceptable. The comprehensive strength of the concrete cores still exceeded the design requirements. Aside from cleaning and painting the only one repair required, to a cracked-filled weld between a diaphragm support plate.

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