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Exploding gas truck melts freeway to my house

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Story here.

Quote:
A tanker truck carrying 8,600 gallons of gasoline had overturned at 3:41 a.m. and burst into flames on the 50-foot-high ramp connecting westbound Interstate 80 to southbound Interstate 880. Within minutes, the ramp above it -- connecting eastbound I-80 to eastbound I-580 -- collapsed in the 3,000-degree cauldron.

Looks like this:



This is amazingly bad luck for the Bay Area commuters. The truck managed to do its fireball thing (the driver is burned but alive) just where the freeway passes over another, only direct way to get to my house and points east, freeway, and take that out as well. Another hundred feet down the road and the problem would be half as bad.

But-- it melted the overpass! People said it looks cartoonish, the freeway just drooping down and falling. It's vaguely ironic, since CalTrans has spent the last 18 years rebuilding and fortifying great swaths of the Bay Area freeway system to improve seismic safety. I guess they figured "able to withstand intense heat" wasn't within their spec.

This means the already congested freeways of the Bay Area are going to be hellish for at least the next couple of months. We have alternatives-- BART, ferries, cross bridge buses, all of which got heavy use after the 1989 Loma Prieta quake-- but the shear numbers of people tend to overwhelm the remaining options, when a major one is take away.

It suggests how vulnerable big cities are to relatively small disruptions of infrastructure. This is one small stretch of a major interchange, and it will throw the whole place off kilter for months to come. It's scary to think what a deliberate attack on a number of such points, simultaneously, would do to us. I wonder if it has occurred to terrorists that they could "hurt" the US far more profoundly by going after strategic choke points in our infrastructure, instead of going for major loss of life or the big symbolic targets.

At any rate, I'll be taking the ferry in the morning into the city. It's actually a beautiful ride, I did for after the 89 quake, but my current job is a lot harder to get to from the ferry landing in SF, and the round trip fair is something like $8 now, plus $3 more for the round trip bus.

All public transport free tomorrow, however, as a stop-gap while the powers that be try to figure out what response is even possible.
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post #2 of 21
I was actually thinking about you when I read that story earlier tonight.

That picture looks like a Dali painting.
post #3 of 21
Quote:
That picture looks like a Dali painting.

That is surreal. The pavement looks like it is intact as it literally flows over the edge.
post #4 of 21
There's no chance that incident was caused by an exploding truck. One truck alone couldn't do that much damage. It's scientifically impossible.

There must have been explosives planted by Haliburton, with full White House approval.

Obviously Bush is secretly planning to use this event as a cover to invade California.




(Sorry, couldn't resist. )
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post #5 of 21
It DOES look like a Dali painting!

It still freaks me out that we drive across stuff like that.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

There's no chance that incident was caused by an exploding truck. One truck alone couldn't do that much damage. It's scientifically impossible.

There must have been explosives planted by Haliburton, with full White House approval.

Obviously Bush is secretly planning to use this event as a cover to invade California.




(Sorry, couldn't resist. )

No, this was Focused Global Warming!

Ah, heck! You so beat me to it!

V/R,
Aries 1B
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post #7 of 21
All I have to say is that you're lucky that the bay area has very good public transportation that doesn't require use of the highway. Otherwise, it would be a much larger problem.

And yes, since I just moved here I'm still allowed to call them highways.
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post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by OoTLink View Post

It DOES look like a Dali painting!

It still freaks me out that we drive across stuff like that.

I didn't know the Dali Lamma painted.



bah dah bump


Even with the rim shot it's not funny
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

There's no chance that incident was caused by an exploding truck. One truck alone couldn't do that much damage. It's scientifically impossible.

There must have been explosives planted by Haliburton, with full White House approval.

Obviously Bush is secretly planning to use this event as a cover to invade California.




(Sorry, couldn't resist. )




It's the second time in history fire has melted steel. Sonm'bitch!
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post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

I was actually thinking about you when I read that story earlier tonight.

That picture looks like a Dali painting.

Good one Shawn. That picture is amazing, I must say.

Adda: Good luck with the commute. That blows.
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post #11 of 21
I saw that last night while watching the Warriors beat the Mavs. That really REALLY sucks dude. I heard it was gonna take 6 months to fix?

If Bechtel is involved in the project, I hope they don't pull an Iraq. \
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yeah, we're doomed. Caltrans is famously slow (although they did get the Bay Bridge repaired in record time, like a month, after the Loma Prieta).

Oddly, today there was hardly any traffic at all, I guess because folks were scared off by the news and also today was free mass transit day.

Tomorrow I expect traffic apocalypse.

On the other hand, how bout them Warriors? When Davis hit the half court three at the half time buzzer, I think I could hear the Oakland Arena from my house.
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post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Tomorrow I expect traffic apocalypse.

On the other hand, how bout them Warriors? When Davis hit the half court three at the half time buzzer, I think I could hear the Oakland Arena from my house.

Traffic apocalypse eh

The Warriors are unbelievable. Davis is a STUD. They match up so well against the Mavs. I think the Mavs are f-ed to be honest. Poor Cuban.

When my Lakers are done I'll be pulling for the Warriors.
post #14 of 21
Suns in 6.
post #15 of 21
Wouldn't mind if the Suns won the championship.
post #16 of 21
From traffic apocalypse to NBA championships in two posts. Only on AI. \

I've heard about California's traffic woes for a long time Adda. Any chance the latest woes will spur the government to try to terminate the problem?

I remember awhile back the Monorail Society had a piece on an innovative monorail proposal for some region in California. (I don't remember which.)

Maybe you guys can take the lemons and make lemonade.
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

From traffic apocalypse to NBA championships in two posts. Only on AI. \



Sig worthiness!
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Story here.

It suggests how vulnerable big cities are to relatively small disruptions of infrastructure. This is one small stretch of a major interchange, and it will throw the whole place off kilter for months to come.

It's scary to think what a deliberate attack on a number of such points, simultaneously, would do to us. I wonder if it has occurred to terrorists that they could "hurt" the US far more profoundly by going after strategic choke points in our infrastructure, instead of going for major loss of life or the big symbolic targets.

Exactly what I thought upon first seeing this story on tv. If it hadn't occurred to the terrorists before, it certainly has by now. \

Truckers driving hazardous materials on the roads of America should be highly experienced in their driving skills, and beyond reproach wrt their driving record and criminal background.

Yet that is often not the case. Absolutely hard to believe that the screening for drivers of hazardous materials trucks apparently has vast loopholes.

Quote:
California Highway Collapse Trucker Has Long Criminal Record
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
OAKLAND, Calif.

The man behind the wheel of a tanker truck hauling thousands of gallons of gas that exploded and brought down one of Northern California's most traveled highways had a long criminal rap sheet. But he still got a license.

The fiery crash has thrown a spotlight on the limits of anti-terrorism rules that may not prevent people with checkered backgrounds from hauling hazardous materials on highways.

The issue surfaced after the explosion and intense fire from driver James Mosqueda's tanker crash Sunday that caused the collapse of a busy Bay Area highway overpass.

Mosqueda, 51, cleared an FBI criminal history check and an intelligence review from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

The TSA said the checks aren't designed to identify people with Mosqueda's type of record, which includes a two-year prison term for a 1996 heroin conviction and other arrests but no terror charges.

"We're looking for terrorists," spokeswoman Andrea McCauley said Tuesday. "We're looking for people who would be involved in terrorist activities that's the scope."


Investigators believe Mosqueda might have been speeding at the time of the crash, but they do not believe drugs or alcohol were factors in the accident.

Joe Come, program director for motorcarrier safety for the U.S Department of Transportation Inspector General's Office, said the crash raises a broader issue.

"There's a general question of how hard do you want to make it for people to get a commercial driver's license or anything else that can affect public safety," Come said. "Do we hold them to the same standard as airline pilots?"

Family and friends said Mosqueda, who remains hospitalized with second-degree burns, has been sober for a decade, is active in his church and works as a drug and alcohol counselor with a Hispanic health organization.

But an industry expert questioned rules that allowed someone with Mosqueda's background to operate a truck loaded with more than 8,000 gallons of gasoline.

"He is unemployable because of (his) past record. That would be our recommendation right off the bat," said Darryl Tolentino, managing director of Fleetwatch Systems Inc., which performs driver background checks for trucking companies.

A study commissioned in 2005 by the American Trucking Associations predicted the industry will be short by more than 100,000 drivers by 2014 and placed partial blame on the government's more stringent security and safety regulations enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General's Office recently found that between 1998 and 2003, investigators uncovered schemes in 23 states in which commercial trucking companies were helping drivers fraudulently obtain licenses.

An investigation last year by the Dallas Morning News turned up evidence that truckers were being recruited at Texas prisons and that convicted felons are behind the wheel in hundreds of truck crashes in the state each year.

Nationwide, a study prepared for Congress in 2005 said thousands of felons are involved in commercial truck crashes annually.

"A family driving on the highway and looking at a gasoline tanker truck out the window assumes that driver has met the highest standards," said California Assemblyman Pedro Nava, a Democrat who chairs both the Assembly Transportation Committee and the Joint Committee on Emergency Services and Homeland Security. "We now know that's not the case."

Nava met Monday with California Highway Patrol officials at the crash site and plans to meet with officials from the state's Department of Motor Vehicles and the trucking industry to strengthen requirements for drivers.

Link

The guy was driving 8,000 gallons of gasoline, but he chose to speed on an elevated freeway ramp? Sounds like great judgment to me.

I think that no felon should be driving trucks with hazardous materials.
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post #19 of 21
Man...I'm actually going to the Warrior game tomorrow.

It'll be the BART in Concord for me...
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post #20 of 21
current mass transit designs in most american cities don't account for catastrophic events, and yet we are going to become increasingly reliant on them as fuel prices reach astronomical proportions and urban dwelling (as opposed to suburban and exurban) becomes more popular.

meh.
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post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilsch View Post

Wouldn't mind if the Suns won the championship.

Close game in the 3rd so far.
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