A public forum held in Savannah, Georgia, on May 3 convened to discuss what to do if there is a liquid natural gas (LNG) trucking accident in South Georgia, reports The Savannah Morning News. Three lawyers were present to take questions from the audience and they said that if there was an accident with the highly flammable LNG, most likely the trucking company or importer of liquid methane would not be liable.
Southern LNG operates an LNG import terminal in Elba Island, Georgia. Last August, the company requested the federal government allow a truck-loading facility to reopen with plans to truck 58 tankers of liquefied natural gas through a busy area of town, including passing two hospitals, schools, and residential neighborhoods. Currently, LNG arrives by ship and is then piped out as a gas. The liquid fuel could be shipped by truck throughout the southeast to use in heavy trucks as an alternative to diesel fuel.
The lawyers said if there is negligence in hauling the material, the $5 million in insurance coverage required of LNG tankers would cover losses; however, an auto accident involving a truck in Georgia would not be covered. The concern is if a tanker is opened, a vapor cloud could be released that is hot enough to blister skin at 700 feet. While businesses and homeowner’s insurance would cover property damage only, neither would cover the personal losses resulting from a motor vehicle accident with the tanker, such as a drunk driver running into the LNG truck. Insurance also excludes acts of war or an intentional act such as a terrorist using a LNG truck as a weapon. Evacuating the area for a mile around a LNG tanker spill is recommended by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), but because of population density, that would not be feasible, the crowd was told. With so few workable options for safety, the attorneys present concluded Savannah should not permit the loading dock at Elba Island.
Unfortunately, trucking companies have been known to skirt safety in the name of profits, putting unsafe and undertrained truck drivers on the road to make deliveries on-time or ahead of schedule. If you or a loved one are involved in an accident with a large truck in Florida or south Georgia, call the experienced Brunswick truck accident lawyers at Farah & Farah to begin an investigation into the cause of the trucking crash so the at-fault party can be held liable for the expenses resulting from the crash.