Amid the worldwide shortage of Personal Protective Equipment that includes the virus-filtering N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, and disposable medical gowns, one local vehicle accident has brought some bad news.
A semi-truck carrying thousands of N95 masks and medical gowns was destroyed after it caught fire while traveling down Interstate 40 in Smith County, Tennessee on Saturday, April 18th, 2020.
JUST IN: Semi truck hauling N95 masks & hospital gowns caught fire on I-40 westbound near mile marker 262 in Smith County. The masks & gowns will be taken to a landfill & dumped. No injuries reported. @WKRN
?: Smith County Insider pic.twitter.com/qVgo8DJVmz
— Josh Breslow (@JoshBreslowWKRN) April 18, 2020
Reported by Smith County Insider, the local fire department from Smith County and three other surrounding departments responded to the fire and successfully put it out. However, all of the much-needed medical equipment inside the trailer was too damaged for repair.
Luckily, there were no injuries reported from this accident. It is such a shame to have lost so many important pieces of equipment for front-line medical professionals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 5:00 a.m. this morning, a semi truck carrying a shipment of N95 masks and surgical gowns caught fire while…
The publication goes on to state that the local director of the Smith County EMA, Sonny Carter, said that they believe the fire began in the rear wheels of the trailer. The exact number of medical supplies lost during this accident is unknown.
Currently, the world is experiencing a surge in demand for N95 masks and it has gotten so bad that President Trump has ordered American mask manufacturer 3M to stop exporting masks from the United States.
There are more than 772,000 COVID-19 cases in the United States and more than 2.4 million worldwide. 165,939 people have died from the disease since it was first identified in December 2019.