Truck accident and fire closes Richardson Highway

Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Richardson Highway was closed for about three hours after a truck towing two jet fuel-filled trailers overturned and caught fire.

Delta Junction Alaska State Trooper Nasruk Nay said only the metal remained after the truck's 12,000 gallons of jet fuel burned away.

''It burnt down to the frame and axle and rims,'' Nay said. ''It looked like a bad skeleton of a truck, or trailer really.''

The Big State Logistics Inc. double-tanker truck was hauling the fuel from Valdez to Fairbanks Monday when the back tanker went off the shoulder coming around a curve at about 2 p.m. The driver overcorrected, causing the trailer to overturn. The driver tried to unhook the back tanker in order to save half of the load, but the hitch was damaged.

The truck was allowed to burn because the accident occurred so close to a river.

''Due to the high volume of fuel, it would have gone right into the river, it would have splashed,'' Nay said.

Troopers opened one lane of traffic shortly after 5 p.m.

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