The moment a gas tanker exploded into a fireball in Rockville Centre was caught on surveillance video Wednesday, according to local officials.
The massive blaze started at about 2 a.m. when a gas tanker tipped over and crashed into La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries at 150 Sunrise Hwy. A Village of Rockville Centre police officer pulled the driver out to safety, and three firefighters were hurt but not seriously injured, according to village officials. Half of the building collapsed, but the connecting stores were spared of the blaze.
New York State also sent emergency responders to the scene, where about 9,000 gallons of fuel spilled, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul.
“[The Department of Environmental Conservation] has deployed Environmental Conservation Police Officers and Spill Responders, including a drone pilot, to assess the potential environmental impacts to the Mill River and surrounding area and to pump out, clean, and flush the impacted drainage system,” Hochul said. “[The Department of Transportation] is currently assessing damage to the drainage system, pavement and a traffic signal and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.”
All lanes of Sunrise Highway were closed in both directions between North Centre Avenue and North Park Avenue for hours while investigators were on the scene.
“Thank you to all of our first brave first responders who fought the elements this morning after a gas tanker flipped and caught fire on Sunrise Highway in Rockville Centre,” Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said. “Our [Department of Public Works] crews in conjunction with state, town and village officials are currently working to make sure the scene is safe, and clear the roadway of debris.”
The investigation into the cause of the explosion is continuing.