Evacuations Underway After Semi With Hazardous Materials Tips Over in Arizona

After a tractor trailer’s fatal rollover event Tuesday afternoon resulted in a dangerous chemical leak, both directions of Interstate 10 remained closed in that area of Arizona Wednesday.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety reports that authorities imposed a shelter-in-place for a three-mile radius around the event on Wednesday morning. The shelter-in-place order was withdrawn by the department on Tuesday evening, but it was then extended to a one-mile perimeter after employees experienced gassing during the attempt to remove the load.

According to public safety officials, those who were within half a mile of the crash were evacuated on Tuesday and should anticipate staying elsewhere until Wednesday around noon.

Sometime after the collision, the driver of the truck that was pulling a box trailer passed away.

Nitric acid, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention characterize as a highly corrosive substance that can irritate one’s skin, eyes, and mucous membranes if exposed, was the dangerous item, according to a tweet from the Tucson Fire Department.

To create fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate, as well as to make polymers and colours, nitric acid is employed.

Authorities warned cars to take an alternate route on Wednesday and advised them to turn off any heaters or air conditioners that draw air from the outside.

On Wednesday, the Vail School District closed five campuses and suspended bus service to the communities under the shelter-in-place order.

According to university police, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department ordered all employees at the University of Arizona Tech Park to leave on Tuesday.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety reported Wednesday that hazardous waste recovery and remediation were delayed by overnight weather conditions. To prevent future gassing, workers removed the tractor-contents trailer’s and covered the area with soil.

The crash’s reason has not yet been given by the authorities.

Last week, a train wreck in Ohio resulted in a chemical fire and prompted evacuations when hazmat teams burnt vinyl chloride tankers, releasing deadly gas phosgene and hydrogen chloride into the atmosphere. After authorities determined that the air quality was safe, the Ohio evacuation orders were rescinded.




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