Skip to comments.BREAKING NEWS: Tanker Explosion Causes Freeway Collapse
Posted on 04/29/2007 6:40:56 AM PDT by WSGilcrest
click here to read article
If he was in the cab when the whole thing went kaboom, I wouldn't think he would have been able to walk away.From www.insidebayarea.com:
Even if he was protected while in the cab, he'd be unprotected as soon as he left it.
OAKLAND -- After his truck exploded and melted part of a freeway, driver James Mosqueda thought he was dying as he walked with second-degree burns to his hands, face and arms nearly a mile to a gas station where he found a cab driver to take him to a hospital.
"He walked up to me and said, `I'm dying. Please, please take me to the nearest hospital. I'm burning, I'm burning,' " said Metro Cab driver Anthony E. of San Jose, who was pumping gas at the Arco gas station at the corner of W. Grand Avenue and Market Street sometime after 4 a.m. Sunday. The cab driver decline to give his last name.
Mosqueda, 51, was behind the wheel of a speeding tanker truck carrying 8,600 gallons of gasoline that crashed and exploded early Sunday, causing part of one overpass in the MacArthur Maze to melt and collapse into an interchange below. Traffic is expected to be disrupted for months.
After the explosion, nothing was left of the truck. But left behind was a 250-yard chunk of the crumpled interchange that was twisted into a mass of charred steel and concrete.
Mosqueda crawled from a passenger window, spoke briefly to a worker at the nearby East Bay Municipal Utility District wastewater treatment plant and then walked through the darkness to the gas station where he found help.
The cab driver said he first thought Mosqueda was a dirty homeless man panhandling for change.
"But then he got close, and the first thing he did was show me his hands," which were red and bubbling with blisters, he said.
The cab driver tried to persuade a hysterical Mosqueda to call an ambulance. But the injured man begged the cabbie to run every red traffic light to get him to the nearest hospital.
"He was in pain and he started crying. I tried to calm him down. I kept telling him, `You'll be all right,' " he said.
The cabbie said the cab's interior smelled of burnt hair as the two sped the 10 minutes to Kaiser Hospital on West MacArthur in Oakland.
"He kept saying,`No more (truck) driving for me. That's it. That's it.' "
At the hospital, Mosqueda tried to pay the $8 cab fare.
"He got out money and I said, `No, no, no I don't need it. Just go.' He's a lucky man," the cab driver said.
Mosqueda of Woodland, near Sacramento, was treated at Kaiser and later transferred to St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco for further care.
The crash occurred on the MacArthur Maze, a collection of interchanges on the edge of downtown Oakland about a half-mile from the Bay Bridge toll plaza.
Although the bridge itself was not damaged, the labyrinth of three converging freeways delivers traffic to and from San Francisco and includes some of the Bay Area's most congested routes.
No one else was reported injured.
Officials said a major public safety disaster was likely averted because the crash happened early on a Sunday.
Police said Mosqueda has worked for Sabek Transportation out of San Francisco for 10 months. Early Sunday, he was driving an 80,000-pound double tanker truck, about 10 times the size of a standard passenger car. His driving record was not available Sunday.
The CHP has set up a task force to investigate the crash and the trucking company, Cross said.
A Sabek company tanker was involved in a crash last June in Vallejo, which spilled up to 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel into two storm drains leading to the Bay. In that crash, the tanker overturned and the driver was not injured.
"The company is going to have some responsibility with this crash," said California Highway Patrol Officer Trenton Cross.
Police said Mosqueda's tanker was traveling from a refinery in Benicia to a gas station on Hegenberger Road in Oakland when it crashed into a guard rail on the interchange connecting westbound lanes of Interstate 80 to southbound Interstate 880 at 3:45 a.m.
Cross said an early investigation shows Mosqueda was driving too fast in the 50 mph zone as he navigated the curving road, but neither alcohol nor drugs appeared to be a factor in the crash.
Cross said there was "one huge explosion" followed by a few smaller explosions.
"When I first arrived my first thought was, `Wow!' It's unbelievable.' And what's even more unbelievable is that no lives were lost," said Cross.
Mosqueda, a divorced father of four children and two grandchildren, lives in a clean and well-maintained home in Woodland with roommate Cedric McGowan, 53. McGowan said Sunday he feared the worst when he heard about the explosion on the news.
"I pray to God that he's OK," said McGowan, who said he had planned to launch a truck company with Mosqueda.
The driver's parents, Conception and Alicia Mosqueda, said they had little information about the condition of their son Sunday but had spoken to him briefly...
Actually there was some kind of pylon in the road that he was trying to avoid and when he couldn’t, he tipped over (at least that’s what I heard on another thread). M
Fiery crash collapses Bay Area freeway
Posted by TigerLikesRooster
On News/Activism 04/29/2007 9:27:55 PM PDT · 9 replies · 104+ views
AP ^ | 04/30/07 | MARCUS WOHLSEN
Fiery Crash Collapses California Freeway
Posted by jdietz
On General/Chat 04/29/2007 6:41:06 PM PDT · 14 replies · 616+ views
AP ^ | 4/29/2007 | MARCUS WOHLSEN
Fiery Crash Collapses California Freeway (Hey Rosie! Gas Fire Melts Steel!)
Posted by Captain Shamrock
On News/Activism 04/29/2007 3:41:40 PM PDT · 63 replies · 1,464+ views
AP ^ | Apr 29, 4:45 PM (ET) | MARCUS WOHLSEN
California Interchange Collapses After Tanker Fire
Posted by Grendel9
On News/Activism 04/29/2007 12:08:56 PM PDT · 24 replies · 698+ views
BREAKING NEWS: Tanker Explosion Causes Freeway Collapse
Posted by WSGilcrest
On News/Activism 04/29/2007 6:40:56 AM PDT · 240 replies · 6,932+ views
The Governor’s plane has landed. All hail the Governor!
You called it.
At that hour of the morning, though, I figure it's more likely the driver fell asleep or had some health issue.From the Associated Press:
California highway interchange collapses after tanker catches fire
OAKLAND, Calif. A section of highway has collapsed in Oakland, California, after a tractor trailer carrying 86-hundred gallons of gasoline caught fire.It happened early this morning at an interchange connecting interstate highways to the busy Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge.
Authorities say the tanker ignited after crashing into a pylon on an interchange connecting Interstate 80 to I-880. The fire led to the collapse of a second interchange above it.
The driver of the truck suffered second-degree burns. The California Highway Patrol says he walked away from the crash and hailed a cab, which took him to the hospital.
The Bay Bridge's heavily traveled double decks run about two miles across the San Francisco Bay.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
(CBS 5) OAKLAND A driver for Metro Cab who rushed injured trucker James Mosqueda to the hospital told CBS 5 a harrowing story of the truckers ordeal.
The taxi driver - who would only identify himself as "Anthony" - said he was filling his cab up with gas at the AM/PM gas station at West Grand and Market Street in West Oakland when Mosqueda staggered up crying, clearly reeling from excruciating pain.
"I'm dying, I'm dying," Mosqueda reportedly shouted, as he asked the cabbie to rush him to the hospital.
Im burned, Im burned. Run the red lights, its an emergency! Mosqueda urged Anthony.
"Anthony" said Mosqueda had blisters on his hands and that most of the hair on his head was singed off.
On the way to Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, Mosqueda told "Anthony" that he barely escaped with his life, by jumping out of the overturned truck just moments before the tanker exploded...
Maybe the Civic Fathers and Civic Mothers in the southeast bay don’t want their citizens visiting Oakland, and don’t want Oakland’s citizens visiting them.
On the other hand, there’s 980, so I guess that shoots my theory all to Darfur.
Caltrans officials don't know how long it will take to replace the stretch of Interstate 580 that was destroyed early Sunday, but they started working on it soon after the steel-bending blaze was extinguished.
Engineers were at the scene of the collapsed I-580 connector before dawn to assess the damage, said Caltrans Director Will Kempton.
By noon, Caltrans had hired a demolition company to begin removing the melted and twisted freeway connection.
The agency has also started to design a replacement structure for the collapsed, 250-yard section.
Although one Bay Area transit official estimated that the I-580 connector would be closed for at least a month, Kempton refused to estimate how long it might take to rebuild the freeway or to reopen the connection between westbound Interstate 80 and southbound Interstate 880. Engineers are still assessing damage to I-880 and to the sections of I-580 adjoining the collapsed segments, he said.
Kempton vowed to move quickly to repair the gap that has been opened in the Bay Area's freeway network.
"We're moving very rapidly on this,'' he said. "We want it to be as smooth as possible for motorists.''
Caltrans has invoked a special emergency process that allows it to hire contractors without the usual competitive bidding. It also allows the agency to bypass environmental studies and to offer bonuses if contractors complete the work quickly.
Randy Rentschler, spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the regional transportation planning agency, said the I-580 connector would be shut for a least a month. The part of the freeway that connects westbound I-80 to southbound I-880 will be closed "until Caltrans determines that it's safe," Rentschler said.
Many motorists, tired of the lengthy Bay Bridge east span project or the slow replacement of the Cypress structure after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, regard Caltrans as bureaucratic and slow.
But Kempton said the agency has a history of acting quickly in emergencies, citing the repair of the broken eastern span of the Bay Bridge after the Loma Prieta earthquake, and rebuilding collapsed sections of Interstate 10 in Los Angeles after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Caltrans also used its emergency process to rebuild and reopen Highway 1 at Devil's Slide last spring.
"In past instances of similar circumstance, I think you have seen us act very expeditiously,'' he said.
Kempton said Caltrans has hired Cleveland Wrecking, the demolition company that has worked on the intensive weekend teardown jobs on the Bay Bridge's San Francisco approach. The contractor's employees visited the scene of the collapse late Sunday morning and were clearing the debris off I-880 and tearing down parts of I-580 starting Sunday evening.
Two segments of I-580 eastbound leading away from the Bay Bridge toll plaza were destroyed in the early morning fire when a tanker truck filled with gasoline crashed while traveling on southbound I-880 beneath the other highway.
That stretch of eastbound I-580 carries an average of 45,000 vehicles a day, while the south I-880 connection averages 35,000 a day.
The intense heat generated by 8,600 gallons of burning gasoline weakened the steel frame of the I-580 structure.
It bent, pulled away from support columns, began popping bolts and collapsed, Kempton said.
"Steel begins to melt at 2,750 degrees Fahrenheit,'' Kempton said.
John Osteraas, a civil and structural engineer for Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, a Menlo Park firm that explores the causes of structural collapses, likened what apparently happened on I-580 to "the principle of blacksmithing."
"The problem with structural steel,'' he said, "is that it loses strength and stiffness when it is heated. Think of a blacksmith with a red-hot horseshoe. It becomes very malleable.''
Steel loses half of its structural strength when heated to 1,000 degrees -- a temperature easily created by a burning gasoline tanker, Osteraas said.
The same phenomenon contributed to the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, he said.
While the damage to I-580 is evident, it's tougher to tell the condition of I-880, said Bijan Sartipi, Caltrans director for the Bay Area.
Caltrans engineers are examining the area where the tanker burned, he said. Pavement on that section is not only charred but cracked, and there is some evidence of damage to the support columns.
Engineers took samples of the columns and roadbed to determine the extent of the damage, he said, but will wait until debris from the fire and collapse is removed to finish their analysis.
The goal is to open I-880 as soon as possible to reduce the impact on commuters and East Bay freeways, Sartipi said.
"The question is: What kind of load can it handle?'' Sartipi said. "Do we need to replace part of it or shore it up?''
thanks. I’m thankful nobody else was involved, especially that it didn’t happen later in the morning. Whew.
And don't forget, fire can't melt steel!
THE MAZE MELTDOWN:
Despite 2nd-degree burns, driver walked 1 1/2 miles, hailed cab to hospital
S F Chron ^ | 30 APRIL 2007 | Demian Bulwa
Posted on 04/30/2007 10:09:28 AM PDT by radar101
James Mosqueda, the driver in Sunday's fiery fuel-tanker crash, climbed out of the cab of his truck just moments before an explosion so powerful and hot that it melted steel and brought down a freeway, witnesses and law enforcement officials said.
Mosqueda, a 51-year-old father of three from Woodland (Yolo County), walked away from the wreck -- and kept on walking.
He walked for a mile and a half in all -- first along the overpass where he crashed and then for at least 13 blocks through the desolate streets of West Oakland -- to an Arco gas station, where he approached a cabdriver and asked for a ride to a hospital, police said.
The Friendly Cab driver, who identified himself to The Chronicle only as Anthony, 46, of San Jose, said he had just pulled into the gas station at West Grand Avenue and Market Street when he saw Mosqueda.
"He walked up to me. He was in pain. He was telling me he was dying. He had blisters, bubbles on his hands. Part of his hair was burnt," the cabbie said.
California Highway Patrol spokesman Trent Cross said Mosqueda was driving at an unsafe speed in a 50 mph zone, moving in the right lane of the two-lane connector ramp between westbound Interstate 80 and southbound Interstate 880, when he struck the right guardrail, causing the truck to overturn.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
There’s a flyover structure for that just before the exit to 24/Walnut Creek...
...Cross said Mosqueda had been driving for Sabek Transportation, of South San Francisco, for 10 months. He was carrying 8,600 gallons of gasoline from a Benicia refinery to a gas station on Hegenberger Road in Oakland.
According to a company statement, Mosqueda has a safe driving record. The company described his escape from the wreck as "miraculous" and said it is cooperating with the investigation into the crash. The company also said initial alcohol and drug tests indicate Mosqueda was not under the influence while he was driving.
Cross said Mosqueda has a valid driver's license and no apparent history of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
"At this point, there is no indication of impairment on the part of the driver, but that will be part of our investigation," CHP Commissioner Mike Brown said.
A worker at a nearby sewage treatment plant, Isaac Rodriguez, said he spotted Mosqueda on the connector ramp above as the fire raged.
"I believe he was in shock. He didn't know how badly he was burned," said Rodriguez, who added that he later regretted not trying to get someone to find Mosqueda and pick him up.
"It looked at one point like he was going to go back to the truck," Rodriguez said. "I told him, 'Get out of there!' "
Mosqueda has worked in the past with the Sacramento Valley chapter of Teen Challenge, an international Christian ministry that runs centers for people struggling with addiction and other "life-controlling" problems, according to Escalante.
"If he walked away, it's only because the Lord was with him," said Escalante...
"5:48 Economic Report: Gas prices jump 10 cents to $3.02"
And don't forget that this $3.02 is the WHOLESALE price, not the price at any pump, but you knew that, of course!
I don’t think he would be able to speed on a weekday morning. Sunday at 3:00 AM, the freeway was his.
When I took my CDL/Hazmat test years ago (not for tractor trailer though!), I was given a computerized test. Not sure if they offer these tests in Spanish.
Wow, poor man. I hope he’ll be alright. Prayers going up for him.
Thanks. I will tell my wife about this increase tomorrow just as she goes to work. That way I will not have to hear, “See I told you so every 10 minutes!”
Geez was that just California’s wholesale price?
She had a talk with a Heavy Duty Construction Project Manager, who said this wreck was going to have a big impact re higher taxes on many fronts from the steel needed to replace what was lost to higher insurance rates and other layers of government descending on evil gasoline
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