Hazardous Materials Accident Report

Overflow of Gasoline and Fire
at a Service Station-Convenience Store
Biloxi, Mississippi
August 9, 1998

NTSB Number HZM-98/02
NTIS Number PB99-917007

Abstract: On August 9, 1998, about 12:53 a.m., a Premium Tank Lines, Inc., truckdriver was transferring gasoline from a cargo tank to underground storage tanks at a Fast Lane gasoline station-convenience store in Biloxi, Mississippi, when an underground storage tank containing gasoline overflowed. An estimated 550 gallons of gasoline flowed from the storage tank, across the station lot into the adjacent highway, through an intersection, and into a storm drain. The gasoline ignited, and fire engulfed three vehicles near the intersection, which ultimately resulted in the deaths of five occupants and the serious injury of one. Damages were estimated at $55,000.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of Premium Tank Line, Inc.ís officials to follow established company procedures in hiring and training new drivers, the companyís lack of adequate procedures for dispatching drivers and delivering cargo to customer facilities, and the failure of R.R. Morrison and Son, Inc., to have adequate safety procedures for accepting product offered for delivery at its Fast Lane stations. Contributing to the accident was the truckdriverís various and numerous operating errors during the gasoline transfer process that led to the underground storage tank overfill.

The following safety issues are discussed in this report:

As a result of its investigation of this accident, the Safety Board makes recommendations to the Federal Highway Administration, the Research and Special Programs Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, Premium Tank Lines, Inc., R.R. Morrison and Son, Inc., the American Petroleum Institute, the National Tank Truck Carriers Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, the Service Station Dealers of America, and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America.