The road transport of dangerous goods is a source of safety concerns – not in the first place because there are frequent incidents but rather because the consequences of an incident, when it does occur, can be very substantial. This investigation was launched in response to three tank lorry fires in 2001, 2003 and 2005.
On the basis of the thematic study, the Safety Board has drawn the following conclusions: 1. Tank lorry fires for which the fire department must be called in are a regular occurrence. The potential consequences of such fires for emergency services workers, road users and/or other people in and around the site of the accident appear to be substantial. 2. There is no system in place for the collection, analysis and sharing of information about accidents involving the transport of dangerous goods by road. As a result, there is a lack of insight into the actual risks and risk-determining factors involved in such transports. 3. In the case of a large tank lorry fire, the fire department will not always be able to carefully assess the risks to support its decision to either actively fight the fire or watch its development from a distance and contain the (potential) consequences. 4. The vulnerability of the fuel tanks of lorries, combined with the increasing capacity of those tanks, leads not only to nuisance (after an accident the asphalt will have to be cleaned) but also to increased safety risks in the road transport of dangerous goods.