Crews keeping watch over Tennessee tanker spill
A tanker crashed in Cumberland County a few hours, and is leaking a volatile compound. Reports are just describing it as a 'hazardous material'.
Police and emergency crews on on scene and waiting for a replacement truck to collect the remaining cargo.
Authorities say that 9 people have been taken to hospital. No names have been released.
As of 8:45 p.m. Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency Public Information Officer Gary Howard said that the wrecked tanker was still leaking, and that responders could not repair the leak. Instead, they are waiting for a tanker that is en route to pick up the hazardous material.
A 10-mile section of Interstate 40 in the county was expected to remain closed until at least Sunday morning as a result of the spill.
About 4 p.m. Saturday three vehicles and a tanker truck collided near the 331 mile marker on I-40 West, a Tennessee Highway Patrol dispatcher said. The wreck caused some injuries, but none are believed to be life-threatening, he said.
The tanker was hauling titanium tetrachloride, a flammable corrosive and a toxic inhalation and absorption hazard, according to TEMA spokesman Jeremy Heidt.
The area hasn't been evacuated. Cumberland County emergency authorities have alerted residents who live in an area downhill and downwind of the spill to stand by to possibly evacuate or to take shelter in place if the situation changes. According to CCEMA director Keith Garrison, the spill is small, but the agency is preparing for a worst case scenario in which all the rest of the material in the tanker might escape as well.
"Right now it's just leaking, and we're trying to keep it from catching on fire," Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess said. "It's explosive when it mixes with the air."
The load was being hauled from New Jersey to Arkansas, THP spokeswoman Laura McPherson said.