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Semi-Truck Crashes Into Storage Facility, Causing Propane Tank Explosions

A semi-truck crashed into a storage facility in Newton, Kansas, leading to propane tank explosions and two people in the hospital with minor injuries.

The crash happened along US-50 just south of Newton. It took hours for firefighters to put out the flames.

An SUV was driving eastbound, blew out a tire, and hit two semi-trucks. The second semi-truck that was traveling westbound crossed over into the eastbound lane and hit an RV storage facility. One woman who lost her RV at the facility was beyond upset to hear about the outcome of the crush and subsequent explosions.

 “This is something that I brought right after my husband passed away from COVID. And it was kind of special because we liked to go camping,” said Lisa King, who lost her RV during the tragic incident.

Only debris and rubble is all that’s left of the RV.

Investigators say around 1:30 p.m. an SUV that was traveling east on US-50 blew out a tire. It hit the first semi-truck that was also eastbound. Then the SUV crossed the median and hit a semi-heading west. The second semi-truck crossed over into the eastbound lane and then hit the RV storage facility.

“Ours was in this spot right here and so it’s basically just kind of in pieces. It looks like they may have to drag it out,” said King.

Neighbors who live near the storage facility could see the smoke and flames from their apartment windows.

“As soon as we walked outside we heard huge explosions coming from the storage shed over here. It all sounded like gunshots going off and stuff like that,” said Traci Hagar.

The driver of the semi-truck that hit the storage facility got himself out of his truck and went to the hospital with minor injuries. The Kansas Highway Patrol says it’s a miracle that the driver was able to get out by himself.

“The distance to travel across to not strike another oncoming vehicle to go through that big terrain and then get into there, at that point initially we had no idea. We thought the driver was still in the vehicle,” said Trooper Chad Crittenden, PIO for Kansas Highway Patrol.

While losing her RV was emotional for Lisa King, she does have insurance, so she’ll be able to continue to honor her late husband. The driver of the SUV was taken to a Wichita hospital with minor injuries.

The fire is a reminder to all RV and boat storage property owners to review insurance policies and make sure they have the coverage needed to protect their business. 

According to Terry Anderson of Tenant Property Protection, “Every RV and boat storage facility must develop a Risk Management Assessment and Plan. Without it, their high-income asset is subjected to devastation from every weather-related event and incidences of theft.” 

“Owner/operator negligence in preparing for the risk of winds, fires and burglary has led to the rising cost of property and casualty insurance rates,” he continues. “A Risk Management Assessment and Plan is a way to save profits and costs when faced with potential losses. Every good general business property and casualty agency in the storage industry should have a resource available to meet this need.”

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