WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A waste collection truck powered by natural gas drove underneath a too-short bridge in Woonsocket, tearing off fuel tanks and causing immediate evacuations. The truck was damaged, and the street was shut down.
It happened shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday. Fire crews and police responded to Main Street near Railroad Street, to a Providence and Worcester Railroad bridge area. The green truck, with logos of the company Waste Management, had pieces torn off the roof of it and left in the street.
Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Walsh said 200-pound natural gas cylinders had been torn off the vehicle, and three others were still on it. The truck runs on natural gas, he said.
“The cylinders did go up in the air; one went in one direction, one went in the opposite direction,” Deputy Chief Walsh said. One of them flew 75 feet.
The truck was still “off-gassing.” Hazmat and hose crews were able to shut down the truck and stop the spewing of natural gas, and cleanup followed.
Officials for the railroad came to inspect the bridge. Safety advisors from Waste Management also responded.
Walsh said there were plenty of signs that should have alerted the driver to not drive under the bridge.