Oil Tank Fire at Asphalt Plant in Montgomery County, Maryland

by | Mar 15, 2024 | Industrial Accident

There was an oil tank fire at the F.O. Day Bituminous Company asphalt plant accident in Montgomery County, Maryland on March 14, 2024.  According to reports, three tanks caught fire at the facility.  Two of the tanks held liquid asphalt and the third contained used oil.  Equipment was also involved in the fire.  It is unclear if anyone on site sustained injuries in the fire.

Liquid asphalt, commonly used in road construction and waterproofing, poses significant hazards, not just in its application but also in the event of a spill or fire. This material, when heated, releases fumes that can be harmful if inhaled, leading to respiratory issues and irritation of the skin and eyes upon contact. The risks are amplified in the event of a spill, where the hot, viscous liquid can cause severe burns to anyone who comes into contact with it. Moreover, liquid asphalt’s adhesive properties make it difficult to remove from skin or clothing, exacerbating injuries and complicating medical treatment.

In the unfortunate event of a fire involving liquid asphalt, firefighters face unique and challenging difficulties. Asphalt fires are intensely hot and can be stubborn to extinguish due to the material’s ability to retain heat. Traditional firefighting methods, such as the use of water, are often ineffective and can even be dangerous. Applying water to a hot asphalt fire can generate steam explosions, propelling burning asphalt and posing a significant risk to emergency responders. Furthermore, the dense smoke produced by burning asphalt can reduce visibility and contains toxic compounds that present serious health risks to firefighters and anyone in the vicinity without proper respiratory protection.

To safely address fires involving liquid asphalt, specialized firefighting techniques and agents are required. Firefighters often use chemical extinguishers or foam agents designed to smother the flames without the risks associated with water application. Understanding the unique properties of liquid asphalt and the hazards associated with its combustion is crucial for developing effective emergency response plans. Training and equipping firefighting teams with the necessary tools and knowledge to tackle asphalt fires are essential steps in mitigating the dangers posed by this material, ensuring the safety of both the responders and the public.

There have been a number of incidents at industrial and manufacturing plants.  There was a gas pipeline explosion in Beaver County, Oklahoma on January 30, 2024. There was an accident at an oil pumping station in Cass County, Michigan on February 4, 2024.  There was a fire at the Phillips 66 refinery in Billings, Montana on February 9, 2024.  A worker was killed while operating a lift in Spartanburg, South Carolina on February 14, 2024.

Those touched by an industrial accident should know their legal rights and remedies, and act quickly to preserve them. Our attorneys have extensive experience in cases involving industrial and plant personal injury and wrongful death, including those caused by equipment malfunctioning.  The firm has experience in courts across the country and the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or as a result of an explosion, or been seriously injured.

The experienced attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident at a plant or refinery.  Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or to learn more about your legal rights.