Liquid asphalt is one of the most viscous materials you’ll see in construction. It’s often hot, sticky, and can cause a mess. Can you imagine what it’s like if there’s a liquid asphalt spill? Unfortunately, in San Francisco, the community of Vallejo discovered just how sticky the situation can be during this type of spill.
On Monday, September 22, 2014, the town of Vallego dealt with a small fire that broke out in an active industrial plant. This fire was caused, or related to, a 30,000 gallon liquid asphalt tank burst open. Liquid asphalt spilled everywhere as firefighters raced to put out the fire. The tank was located at a Syar Industries plant on 885 Lake Herman Road. It burst open around 2 PM, spilled liquid asphalt in the surrounding area.
During the burst, liquid asphalt leaked into another nearby tank, which held flammable materials. This is what caused the fire that firefighters quickly put out. Luckily, no one on site was injured and the spill was contained rather quickly. As of now, the cause of the initial burst tank containing the liquid asphalt has yet to be determined by Syar Industries or firefighters.
Liquid asphalt can cause many more issues when spilled than at this accident. Depending on the amount of liquid asphalt spilled, along with the environment, it can cause lasting damage to the surrounding areas and injure those around. In this case, the second tank caught on fire, because it interacted with other chemicals and caused the fire.
Many in the area questioned whether the liquid asphalt could be reused or salvaged. Syar Industries never answered that question. In some cases, liquid asphalt can be reused if contained before it begins to cool down and settle. Once it settles, especially out of a controlled environment, it can be harder to salvage and use again.