Residents voice concerns following tanker truck explosion - WSMV Channel 4

Residents voice concerns following tanker truck explosion

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The day after a tanker truck exploded in west Nashville, Metro officials described it as a "disaster avoided" Thursday.

Fuel from the explosion went into storm drains, and some have expressed concerns about the impact it could have on the neighborhood.

"We have had our boats out this morning monitoring the Cumberland River," said Sonia Harvat with Metro Water. "There is no product that has made it to the Cumberland River."

Crews have been testing the underground Metro sewer system to make sure no explosive fuel content is left behind, possibly causing more explosions.

"We've got explosive levels under control," said Charles Phillips, geologist with Shield Environmental Associates.

As for wildlife, Phillips said some soil may have been compromised, but the fish are fine.

"You can see fish all over the place," he said. "We've seen no aquatic or biotic deaths."

People who live near Centennial Boulevard said they have been complaining about speeding trucks in their community. The area is surrounded by fueling stations where dozens of tankers regularly transport gas and diesel.

Liz Parry is a member of a local neighborhood association.

"One of the problems we have is the traffic coming through with the tankers and other commercial traffic, potentially hitting animals, potentially hitting pedestrians," Parry said.

Wednesday's accident only confirms their fears.

"We can't move the distribution centers, but we'd at least like to move them off of 51st and get them to slow down," Parry said.

Channel 4 News has obtained exclusive surveillance video of the crash as it happened. The video shows the Tri Star transport truck moving hurriedly down the street. It then overturns, hitting a parked unoccupied car and immediately bursting into flames.

That parked car belong to Madia Dia.

"I heard the noise," Dia said. "People came out and tell me, 'you car has been hit.' I get out and see the fire, and I can't get to my car."

Metro police said when the driver, Jason Frizzell, turned onto Centennial Boulevard, his load shifted, causing the truck to roll over.

A combined 8,500 gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline spilled into the street. The truck exploded, sending a massive plume of smoke into the sky.

"Thankfully it was on 61st, away from the residents and no one got hurt," Parry said. "If it happened on 51st, it could have been devastating."

Frizzell is not facing any charges at this time. Tri Star contacted an outside company to handle cleanup and environmental protection.

Thursday evening, Pat Leding, safety director with Tri Star Transport, issued the following statement:

"We continue to be concerned about the surrounding neighborhood and will diligently support the clean-up process. We are cooperating fully with all local, state and federal agencies.

"We are extremely thankful that there were no serious injuries to our driver, the first responders, the clean-up crews and the neighbors in the area. Tri Star Transport is committed to operating in a safe and environmentally responsible manner."

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