Explosion burns two workers

The cause of a blast in a tanker truck at Allied Oil LLC on Old Camplain Road is still under investigation.

By: Donna Lukiw
   An explosive fireball in a tanker truck severely burned two employees at Allied Oil LLC on Old Camplain Road around 4 p.m. Tuesday.
   The tanker was parked in the parking lot of Allied Oil LLC while the two men, John Morella, 54, of Basking Ridge and Kevin Migliore, 37, of Dunellen, performed maintenance repairs on the tanker, which had been transporting liquid asphalt.
   "They were cleaning the valve in the rear of the truck," Lt. Paul Kaminsky of Hillsborough Police Department said.
   He said the investigation is focusing on fumes from the asphalt as the likely cause of the explosion.
   Lt. Kaminsky said there was a single vapor explosion with a smoke cloud that quickly disappeared. Although the tanker was empty, the fumes were still lingering in the tank.
   Lt. Kaminsky said investigators also found tools near the explosion.
   The exact cause of the blast is still under investigation. Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors, along with the Hillsborough Police Department, are investigation the explosion.
   Mr. Morella and Mr. Migliore were transported by Medivac to St. Barnabas Burn Unit in Livingston. As of Wednesday afternoon, police officers and investigators had not yet interviewed Mr. Morella and Mr. Migliore.
   Lt. Kaminsky said the victims suffered burns over more than 50 percent of their bodies.
   The explosion did not damage any nearby structures —the trailer was intact after the blast.
   The Hillsborough Police Department, Somerset County prosecutor’s office, Somerset County Sheriff’s Department, Manville fire departments, Somerville Fire Department, all three Hillsborough fire companies, Hazmat Unit, Medical Intensive Care Unit, Hillsborough and Somerville rescue squads, and the Somerset County and Hillsborough Counterterrorism units responded to the scene.