Truck with hazardous chemicals crashes in US
After a tractor-trailer carrying chemicals flipped over on Interstate 10 south of Tucson on Tuesday, the Arizona authorities worked to evacuate residents in a mile’s radius and urged others to close windows and turn off air conditioners.
“HAZMAT release on I-10. Individuals within 1 mile radius should shelter in place,” an emergency alert that went out around 4:30pm local time said.
The truck was reportedly carrying nitric acid, commonly used as an oxidizing agent and in the production of fertilizer, inks, dyes, and explosives.
The spill threatened the Rita Ranch community, southeast of Tucson. Local residents were told to seek shelter “immediately” and turn off any device that uses outside air.
“The Department’s Hazardous Materials Response Unit, along with partner agencies are working together to mitigate the incident,” the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution first responders are working to evacuate a perimeter around the area of the incident.”
ARIZONA -- A truck carrying hazardous materials has overturned on I-10 in Tucson. Residents nearby urged to shelter in place until further notice. pic.twitter.com/micKYKh2RD— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) February 14, 2023
The state Department of Transportation said the section of Interstate 10 between Kolb Road and Houghton Road was closed in both directions, with “no timetable” to reopen.
Tucson Fire Hazmat Team working with our partners at @Arizona_DPS to control the hazmat and brush fire incidents at Rita and I10. Continue to avoid the area, I10 will remain closed an extended period of time. Stay safe @cityoftucsonpic.twitter.com/oM4WKD5C0E— Tucson Fire Department (@TucsonFireDept) February 14, 2023
The Tucson highway incident comes amid the heightened scrutiny of US chemical transport infrastructure. Earlier this month, a train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed in eastern Ohio, forcing the evacuation of several thousand people from the town of East Palestine.
Though the local authorities said all the environmental readings were normal as of Sunday, locals who returned shared photos of dogs, foxes, chickens, fish, and frogs that died or were injured in the area affected by the poisonous cloud.