Video Update: Tanker Truck Loaded with 30 Tons of HF Overturns in China – One Person Dies

Unknown amount of HF released. Photos and a new video show the accident happened on a rural stretch of highway. In an urban setting, fatalities could have been catastrophic. Hundreds of trucks like these, loaded with HF, travel the U.S. highways every week, imperiling the communities they travel through.

HF truck overturned about 5 kilometers from the Lanhai Expressway Dasi toll station in the direction of Qinzhou, China. Click the image and watch a 4-minute video of the horrendous aftermath of the accident and the clean-up effort .

On June 21, 2021, the Qinzhou Fire and Rescue Detachment Command Center received an alarm: A large truck carrying vegetables collided with a tank truck loaded with 31.2 tons of hydrofluoric acid about 5 kilometers from the Lanhai Expressway Dasi toll station in the direction of Qinzhou. Nineteen fire trucks from Qinzhou and its Port District Chemical Rescue Team were dispatched to the scene. They quickly carried out rescue work and plugged the leak. The amount of HF released was not stated in the news article; however, a rupture that released a major portion in an urban setting would be disastrous. Local governments and public security departments urgently evacuated village residents within 2 kilometers of the accident. Expressway and local traffic police departments evacuated and diverted vehicles stranded on the expressway.

Hhydrogen fluoride released from an overturned tanker truck.

After 12 hours of joint efforts by the fire, public security, traffic police, environmental protection, and other departments, the rescue work was successfully completed, and the danger was eliminated. The accident caused one minor injury and one death, although the cause was not stated.

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The Peril of Trucking HF

Click Image to Watch Video

This video created by Honeywell, the world’s largest producer of hydrofluoric acid, shows the extreme measures needed for even a minor HF leak during truck transport. It underscores the peril of a major accident like the one in China.

Experts know that by far the best protection from an accidental release of a highly dangerous chemical is to replace it with a much safer alternative. A regulation requiring refineries to convert from HF alkylation to one of the vastly safer modern alternatives would eliminate the hazards posed by the daily highway transport of massive amounts of HF to refineries. A multitude 0f communities nationwide, both near and far from these refineries, would then be safe from a trucking accident delivering HF to refineries.