Dozens of patients and medical staff were evacuated from a medical facility after a tanker hauling liquid oxygen exploded and caught fire yesterday afternoon.
The explosion was reported around 2:30 p.m. at a Kaiser Permanente medical facility near Highway 101 in Santa Rosa, California.
Initial reports indicated that a tanker truck hauling liquid oxygen crashed into the medical facility, but Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal later told the SF Gate that a problem occurred with the connection as the the liquid oxygen was transferred to an on-site tank.
The explosion reportedly shook the medical facility like a bomb and resulted in a brush fire. The explosion also caused cryogenic liquid oxygen to leak from the tanker. Some cars were also damaged by the explosion.
A closer look at the wreckage. Aftermath of oxygen tanker explosion outside of Kaiser medical office in Santa Rosa. I’ll have a live report with the latest tonight at 9/10 @kron4news pic.twitter.com/HlocJKJWZM
— Gayle Ong (@GayleOng) July 19, 2018
The tanker truck driver was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of serious injuries, though it is unclear exactly where he was at the time that the explosion occured. No other injuries were reported.
— Beth Schlanker (@BethSchlanker) July 18, 2018
Authorities responded to the explosion by evacuating dozens of patients — some of whom were on stretchers and wheelchairs — and staff members from the medical facility and by shutting down Highway 101 in both directions.
Highway 101 was reopened after about an hour.
The incident remains under investigation.