Man Fatally Injured After Crashing Car Into Davenport, IA Airport Fuel Farm | Aero-News Network
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Tue, Jul 10, 2018

Man Fatally Injured After Crashing Car Into Davenport, IA Airport Fuel Farm

Had Been Involved In A High-Speed Chase With Police

Davenport, IA Municipal Airport authorities have provided an update on a fuel farm fire that occurred June 30 that was the result of a man crashing his car into the fueling facility following a high-speed chase with police.

In an update forwarded to Aero-News, airport authorities said that "While fleeing from law enforcement, the vehicle crashed through an Airport gate and proceeded down Taxiway C impacting the AvGas fuel system. This resulted in a fire that destroyed the pumping system of the AvGas dispenser.

The person driving the car was identified as Scott M. Schaefer, 29, of Clinton, IA, who was fatally injured in the accident. Television station KWQC reported that, according to the Iowa State Patrol, the man reportedly got out of the car after it caught fire, but for some reason returned to the burning vehicle.

"Although there was a fire following the heavy impact of the vehicle, it was contained to the pump dispenser platform. The three fuel dispensing safeguards installed throughout both fuel systems worked flawlessly. These safeguards include thermal shutoff valves, impact shutoff valves, and power interruption shutoff valves. On the initial impact, each valve closed preventing the release of fuel from the ballistic grade main storage tank. Although there was a small release of fuel from the pump and supply lines on the platform, it is estimated to be less than 40 gallons and was contained by the specially designed concrete platform. The fuel that was released, along with the water applied to fight the fire was cleaned up within hours of the event and never left the concrete platform. The main fuel tank itself suffered cosmetic damage only," officials said in the report.

"The JetA fuel tank system was unharmed by these events. We’ve already had the manufacturer of the system inspect and pressure check the entire system and it is operating perfectly.

"Because of the fire fighters prompt actions, the fire was contained within minutes of the initial impact. This, along with a main fuel tank that is rated to withstand the heat of a four hour fire, leaves us to believe that the fuel contained within the tank was not harmed. But just as a precaution, samples of both AvGas and JetA have already been sent to the laboratory for testing."

As a result of the incident, the Davenport Municipal Airport does not have fuel available, officials said. "The fuel facility is currently shut down while we work to resolve the entire situation. Some of the key issues we are working include:

  • Fuel testing – We are confirming that the fuel currently in the tanks was not harmed and can be used safely;
  • Temporary fuel supply – We are working with the manufacturer to have them provide a temporary dispensing system for the AvGas so we can at least provide Full Service availability. Unfortunately, Self-Service capability will not be available for the duration of our recovery;
  • Alternate temporary fuel supply – We have coordinated with AvFuel Corp to have a tanker truck standing by as a backup alternative should the temporary fuel dispensing option described above not be possible;
  • Dispensing platform rebuild – We are working with the manufacturer to get a new dispensing platform built and installed in as minimal amount of time as possible. Unfortunately, this will still take about four months to complete.

The airport said they are working to bring the fuel farm back online as quickly as possible.

(Image provided by Davenport Municipal Airport)



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