NORTH HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — A tractor-trailer truck and a commercial vehicle transporting liquid propane collided on the Long Island Expressway in North Hempstead. Nassau County authorities noted that the crash happened near Exit 36 on the eastbound side of the LIE. The threat of explosion and fire forced law enforcement authorities to close both directions of the road. The closure lasted for several hours while crews cleared the area according to Newsday. The collision occurred not long after midnight. Officials could not open all lanes until almost 10:30 in the morning. One person sustained an injury in the crash. Nassau County police did not update the condition of that individual.
Neither Nassau County police nor the New York State Police commented about how the collision occurred. What was understood from first responders was that a tractor-trailer and a propane truck collided. Video of the scene obtained by Newsday shows one of the large trucks pinned against the jersey barrier. The vehicle carrying liquid propane appeared to be lying on its passenger side. The video also shows firefighters removing a ladder from the wreck after freeing the driver from the overturned truck. Fortunately, the collision did not cause a spill or fire.
Traffic on the LIE was a mess. Authorities diverted commuters heading in both directions. Police were able to open the westbound side of the LIE around 6:00 a.m. The east side did not reopen until approximately 10:25 a.m.
Liquid propane is a highly volatile substance and ignites at high temperatures. Liquid propane is often used in home heating and cooking. It could be used for commercial purposes as well. Federal and state agencies regulate the transport of liquid propane because of its volatility. The National Transportation Safety Board has jurisdiction to investigate crashes involving propane truck. The NTSB indicated that it would not investigate this particular incident.
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