Long Island

‘Fire Everywhere': 9,000+ Gallons of Gasoline Explode, Light Up Rockville Centre

Hundreds of homes were without power, and a major highway completely closed, after the Long Island gas tanker explosion

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A tanker truck carrying 9,500 gallons of gasoline exploded overnight in Rockville Centre, setting two buildings and the streets on fire.

Authorities received a call about 1:10 a.m. Wednesday about an overturned tanker on Sunrise Highway between North Centre Avenue and North Park Avenue.

"When I came here, there was fire everywhere, the streets, the tanker, the two buildings, and when I looked down Sunrise Highway, there was fire coming out of seven or eight manhole covers," Rockville Centre Fire Chief of Department James Avondet said.

"It's one of the worst things I've seen in my 47-year career," Avondet added.

The civilian injured was the truck driver who was taken to the hospital and later released; he is being questioned by police. Three firefighters were also hurt, according to fire officials, two of whom went to the hospital and were later released.

Firefighters were able to get the blaze, which extensively damaged an abandoned furniture store and a liquor store, under control. However, all utilities in the area were cut off due to the extent of the damage from the explosion.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said as of 9:30 a.m. that 500 homes were without power, and that Sunrise Highway is expected to be closed for another 5-6 hours. The Coast Guard is monitoring area waters for contamination.

It's unclear how the tanker flipped over and an investigation is ongoing.

Authorities initially estimated the tanker was carrying more than 13,000 gallons of fuel before later adjusting their figures.

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