Fire crew members from the Birmingham Fire & Rescue in Alabama with the exploded barrels of lithium batteries in the background. Photo: Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service Department
02 Apr 2023

Barrels of discarded lithium batteries exploded during transport on their way to recycling


A truck was carrying barrels of used lithium batteries to be disposed of when some of the barrels exploded on the trailer.

The truck & trailer in Alabama, USA was parked, scheduled to transport the used lithium batteries in 55 gallon (210 liter) drum barrels, to be properly disposed of at a recycling facility.

The Birmingham Fire Service, which responded to the incident with five fire engines and multiple other rescue teams, says fire crews were able to identify the batteries that had exploded and contained them.

According to an article on the Miami Herald, a little after 1 p.m on March 31, the 18-wheeler truck trailer exploded in Birmingham, Alabama,  in an industrial park parking lot. The newspaper referred to a Facebook post from the fire department.

When the crews arrived, they saw a trailer on fire.

Fire crews were able to control the fire by cooling the hot spots and continued to monitor the remaining barrels on the truck until the situation was considered stable. 

The fire department said no one was hurt because the driver of the trailer was not inside the truck when the batteries exploded.