UPDATE: 3 Employees Still Hospitalized After Flash Fire at Groendyke Terminal

Staff Writer

LIBERAL, Kan. (Jan. 13, 2016) — Three Groendyke Transport employees remain hospitalized in critical condition after a flash fire occurred in the wash bay of the company’s terminal in Liberal, Kan., Tuesday afternoon.
The employees suffered varying degrees of serious burns and were admitted to Southwest Medical Center in Liberal before being transported to Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the three injured employees and their families,” said Groendyke Transport President Greg Hodgen. “We care a great deal for our employees and their safety, and we are working diligently with investigators to discover the cause of the accident.”
A truck, a tank trailer and the three employees were in the wash bay when the flash fire occurred. The tank trailer was not loaded and was being externally washed. Its last contents were condensate, a natural gas processing byproduct, but the cause of the flash fire is still being investigated by the Kansas Office of the State Fire Marshal. Groendyke Transport’s president and environmental specialist also were on the scene Tuesday to assess the situation.
The terminal’s parking lot remains open, but the wash rack and maintenance bays of the terminal are closed until the investigation is completed. At that time, Groendyke Transport officials will be able to assess the damage and determine how long repairs will take. Terminal office operations, meanwhile, have been moved temporarily to a nearby location so regular business can be conducted.
One of 29 terminals operated by Groendyke Transport nationwide, the Liberal terminal has been in business for more than 50 years and employs about 40 people. It primarily services the oil-field industry in the region, chemical manufacturers as part of the company’s nationwide service and petroleum and asphalt distribution in Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado.
Kansas Motor Carriers Association recognized the terminal for its outstanding safety record in 2015. That year, it recorded 2 million consecutive miles without an at-fault accident.

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