Tanker truck accident: 1 injured and 10,000 liters of gasoline on the highway between Namur and Liège.

The emergency services in Belgium.

1 Injured and 10,000 Liters of Gasoline on the Highway Following an Accident Involving 4 Trucks

On Wednesday, 02/23/2022, between Namur and Liège, 4 trucks collided.

"The last truck, which was carrying 38,000 liters of gasoline, crashed into the rear of the one in front of it," explains Colonel Pierre Bocca, from the NAGE rescue zone. Of the four trucks, two were thus interlocked. The one containing the fuel was compartmentalized. A leak was observed in the tank of the first compartment. 10,500 liters of gasoline escaped."

Rescue Operation to Extricate the Driver and Prevent the Risk of Pollution and Fire Due to the Gasoline Leak

After colliding with the truck positioned in front of him, the injured driver found himself trapped in the cabin, while gasoline was spreading on the ground. The emergency services intervened to extricate the trapped and injured driver.

Simultaneously, intervention services covered the hydrocarbon spill with a foam carpet.

The NAGE Rescue Zone along with the Civil Protection intervened.

The driver was taken to the hospital but his life is not in danger. The other three drivers, though shocked, were not injured.

Pumping operations into other tanks helped to minimize the environmental pollution risk as well as the fire hazard.

Emergency Services in Belgium: Rescue Zones and Civil Protection

The Royal Decree of June 10, 2014, defines the organization of emergency services between Rescue Zones and Civil Protection.

1) Rescue Zones

Belgium is divided into 34 Rescue Zones whose missions revolve around 3 axes:

  • Operational missions: firefighting, ambulance and rescue services,
  • Prevention missions: Prevention report in the context of administrative operations: Operating authorization, closure of an establishment, ...
  • Planning: Support for authorities and advice on organizing events, Implementation of Specific Intervention Plans (PPI), Specific Emergency and Intervention Plans (PPUI), ...

2) Civil Protection

Civil Protectionis a federal service, divided into 2 operational centers:

  • Wallonia: 1 center based in Crisnée, near Liège,
  • Flanders: 1 center based in Brasschaat, near Antwerp.

The role of Civil Protection is to protect the population against NRBCe risks, but also to intervene in large-scale disasters (fire, flood) and assist Rescue Zones if necessary.

The NAGE Rescue Zone

The NAGE rescue zone is one of Belgium's 34 rescue zones and includes the fire stations of Namur, Andenne, Gembloux, and Eghezée (NAGE)

The zone has a chemical risk structure with a Mobile Chemical Intervention Unit (CMIC).

In case of an incident, the intervention is divided into 4 stages:

  • Doubt clearance and zoning,
  • Dressing. The zone has ARI (Isolated Respiratory Apparatus) suits,
  • On-site intervention,
  • Decontamination of firefighters and accident victims.

Each fire station is trained for a specific stage of the mission. For example, Namur is trained for dressing and intervention, while others are trained for decontamination, zoning, or logistics.

A true team effort!

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Photos: Tristan CLOET

Sources: Belgian Civil Protection, tanguy-auspert.be, lavenir.net