and vehicle debris. (Source: Los Angeles City Fire Department)

​Aerial photograph of CNG-powered truck-tractor fire and explosion showing roadway design and vehicle debris. (Source: Los Angeles City Fire Department) ​

Compressed Natural Gas-Powered Truck-Tractor Fire and Explosion

What Happened

​​This information is preliminary and subject to change. ​Release Date 7 March 2024 

​On Thursday, February 15, 2024, about 6:42 a.m. pacific standard time, a 2020 Freightliner Cascadia compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered truck-tractor, operated by Heavy Load Transfer, was traveling south on Alameda Street in Wilmington, Los Angeles County, California. The truck’s fuel storage system consisted of two horizontally mounted 3600-psi Type 4 CNG tanks with each tank located outboard of the vehicle chassis. The driver noticed sparks coming from inside the cab, near the bottom of the passenger-side seat, and stopped the truck in a paved gore area at the intersection with Henry Ford Avenue. The driver then exited the truck and called 911.

The truck was fully engulfed in fire before fire department personnel arrived, and the firefighters were not aware that the truck was CNG-powered. During the course of firefighting, the driver’s-side tank exploded, injuring nine firefighters. The firefighters were transported to a nearby hospital for injuries ranging from minor to severe.

​Parties to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation are:

  • ​Hexagon Agility
  • Los Angeles City Fire Department Arson Counter-Terrorism Section

All aspects of the fire and explosion remain under investigation while the NTSB determines the probable cause, with the intent of issuing safety recommendations to prevent similar events.