More than a dozen public transportation passengers are recovering from injuries they suffered when their RTA bus collided with a tanker truck.
The impact caused an explosion and fire.
Witnesses described the aftermath to WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter.
Evening rush slammed to a halt Wednesday on Behrman Highway in Algiers.
“I seen all the smoke from a distance,” witness Danny Ellis said.
“It was a big ball of smoke, black smoke,” witness Paulette Rogers said.
An RTA bus collided with a tanker truck.
The impact caused the front end of the 18-wheeler to catch fire; sending up plumes of smoke, which were seen miles away.
“It was a big ball of black of smoke and I saw it all the way from home depot. I thought it was the nursing home on fire,” Rogers said.
Investigators say the bus was traveling east on Behrman Highway, preparing to turn left onto Behrman Place, when the truck heading southbound swerved to avoid hitting the bus.
But the truck tipped over and collided with the driver’s side of the bus.
“It looks like a garbage truck its turned on its side, onto a bus and it was huge flames toward the front of it and I heard a couple of explosions while we were standing out there,” Ellis said.
The impact of the crash pushed the bus into a taxi.
Brenda Howard was a passenger inside that taxi.
“The 18-wheeler just came from nowhere and it hit the bus and everybody just collided all together,” Rogers said. Trotter asked, “Describe the impact? I’m hurting too bad, it was horrible though,” Rogers replied.
First responders created a triage in the neutral ground.
In all 16-people were hurt.
Our camera was rolling as eleven were placed on gurneys, wheeled into ambulances, and taken to area hospitals.
“Oh my prayers go out to them,” Rogers said.
Turns out it was an excavation truck labeled Hydro Spy; which according to the company’s website provides hydro and air vacuum services to contractors in the oil, gas, and chemical industries.
It’s still unclear what caused the explosion that obliterated the front end of the truck.
The smell of diesel fuel was in the air. Debris, oil, and mechanical fluids were on the ground.
A hazardous materials team was called to the scene, but as it turns out the tanker was carrying a combination of mud and water.
There were no life-threatening injuries.