6,000 gallons of Scotch burned in Woodbridge, N.J. after a truck carrying the whiskey overturned and burst into flames Tuesday. After firefighters extinguished the flames, the neighborhood smelled strongly of the alcohol even days after the incident.
The 6,000 gallons of Scotch was carried by a tractor-trailer from B-Line Trucking in Newark, but when the driver attempted to turn at King George and Egan avenues around 9 a.m., the truck clipped a telephone pole and turned over, releasing the liquid, which then was set on fire.
"There's a relief valve on top of the tank, When pressure builds up, it releases it. Some of the product came out of that hatch," Fords Fire Company official Frank DellaPietro told The New York Post. "When it flipped over, it made sparks on the ground and that's how it ignited."
Eventually, the valve closed, but by then the flames had set a nearby Cadillac on fire while the Scottish whiskey flowed into the gutters. The truck also hit and damaged a parked car while turning over.
Firefighters and the township's Officer of Emergency Management coordinator responded to the scene, and it took around 10 minutes to extinguish the flames. Apparently scotch and gasoline have similar properties because they are both "flammable [liquids]. Once you put foam on it" the flames subside, according to DellaPietro.
It took around eight hours after the accident to remove the cars from the area, but fortunately, the neighborhood was never in any real danger, police said. The area did and does reportedly still smell strongly of Scotch, however.
The truck driver was not seriously harmed, but was taken to Raritan Bay Medical Center, Perth Amboy Division as a precaution, Chief Dan Gregan of the Fords Fire Co. told MyCentralJersey.com.
"For us, it is unusual. We usually deal with gasoline tankers on the Turnpike, but to get a whiskey tanker turning over in the middle of a residential neighborhood is uncommon," DellaPietro added.